Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mammoth Backcountry

After multiple "climbing weekends" it was time for a nice leisurely backpacking trip.  First time in a while where my pack weighed less than 50 pounds and I could hike 3 miles in flip flops!  Right on.  This past weekend, my brother Jeff and I decided to head up to the Rock Creek Trailhead and go hike into the backcountry for some nice camping.  

After hiking three miles in, we decided to camp at Chickenfoot Lake.  We chose this spot because it allowed easy access to Morgan Pass, the Gem Lakes, and Treasure Lakes.  Super pretty lake and we found an old camp spot that had stone benches!  I mean, a place to sit in the backcountry that's not the dirt... STELLAR!  So after setting up base camp, we decided to cook some dinner and decided were to hike Friday morning.  After dinner, we chose to head up to the Gem Lakes and then make our way up to the Treasure Lakes.

(Looking over the map)

 Friday Morning, we got on the trail around 7:30.  We got the Gem Lakes pretty quick and sat around the lakes taking it all in.  To what we could determine, we were the only ones in the area.  After hanging around the lakes for an hour, we spot hikers scrambling up to the Treasure Lakes.  Hm...  "Looks like it could have some fun moves, right on!", I tell Jeff smiling.  He really didn't think he could take me totally away from climbing something.  :)

(Jeff after the 300 foot scramble)

I looked at the map and found a better and less step route for a more comfortable hike.  It was mainly a second class scramble with a section of third class in the middle and end.  Jeff cruised it and we arrived at Treasure Lakes just in time for lunch.  Goldfish and a Cliff Bar...  Yum.  After Lunch and pumping some water, we chose a different route down that followed a stream dumping into Long Lake.  

(Checking out Treasure Lakes)

The Hike down was mellow and the scenes of the lower lakes were nice.  After an hour or so, we arrive back to base camp and decide to chill at the lake for the rest of the day to fly fish and play in the cold water.  

(Hike back to base camp)

After dinner at camp, we decide to head back to the car Saturday morning and head up to Mammoth Lakes to hang around town and grab food.  Plus since we forgot sunscreen, we didn't want to risk getting burned any worse.  Which was a good call on Jeff's part.  

(It's a flower...)

Saturday morning, we got up at sunrise and packed up camp.  The hike back to the car didn't take more than 1.5 hours.  It was nice since we knew breakfast was less than 30 minutes away at the bagel shop in Mammoth.  But before doing the whole food thing, we stopped at a few shops.  I love that town, I think I will move there...  when I am rich that is.  

Overall, the weekend trip was awesome and was nice to get out in the mountains with my brother.  

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