*** Official Backpacking Thread ***


Duke status
Jan 11, 2002
The Bar
Charlton and Little Charlton Peaks - you just ascended from right, up and through saddle. But I should have backtracked down to saddle before getting back to trail. Scree and manzanita were bad but the golf-ball sized pinecones were super slippery. Trekking poles saved my ass on many occasions.

The Path to Charlton

View of Gorgonio from Little Charlton

Nice - trail register in a plastic bag... that was full of water. Couldn't sign that one.

Descent from Charltons. At least the manzanita was only 2 feet high for most part. Things would get worse.

Dollar Lake - apparently a LOT of bear activity down there lately.


Duke status
Jan 11, 2002
The Bar
Looking back at the previous 4 peaks (Gorgonio, Jepsen and Charltons) from Alto Diablo. Right off the trail which was nice for once.

The Path to Shields Peak. So much fun when a 4,000 pound rock under you shifts unexpectedly, especially on the descent, which I somehow did in 6 minutes. That earned me a victory bowl.

Big Bear Lake from Shields

Last two in sight from Anderson Peak

San Gorgonio and San Jacinto from E. San Bernardino Peak

San Bernardino Peak - last one!


Duke status
Jan 11, 2002
The Bar
And then there was the descent from San Bernardino Peak into a saddle, then back up E. San Bernardino Peak, and then down to Momyer Creek trail. After 8,000'+ vertical gained that day, further uphills did not appeal to me and I knew about that road walk at the end.

The long switchbacks at the top of Momyer Creek Trail. You can actually see it here. Seemed like a good sign.

Many fallen trees that had to be climbed over or negotiated. These were easy ones in the beginning. Trail was well defined so easy to find again.

Tough trail to be sure but beautiful scenery on the way down. Top of that peak in the foreground is about 9,200' elevation so still a really long ways to go down to the wash at the very bottom.

Trail got very tight through the manzanita. Many miles of this. I don't want to see manzanita for a while.

Supposedly there was a trail here. Even with GPS, a lot of up and down trying to find an actual trail. At least there was a beautiful view of the previous peaks I had climbed.

Sunset descent.

Tough, tough day but so awesome and the serenity was incredible. Kind of surprising because it was a perfect day for hiking in this area; not too hot, not too cold, cloudy for a good chunk of the day. Was glad I didn't linger on Gorgonio because Momyer would have been even tougher at night, even with a headlamp. But yeah, really stocked, not just on the hike itself but also the accomplishment of doing it all in one day. San Gorgonio was the 6th of the 6-pack of SoCal peaks and I felt I made it worth it. Trekking poles and a GPS are mandatory for that trail, though, no question. Glad I had them and that had prepared in other ways too. Brought 8 liters of water and drank 6.5 liters. Fun fact, apparently those fitbit watches top out at 8,710 calories in one day because it stopped recording at one point. Thought that was funny.


Duke status
Jan 11, 2002
The Bar
Sounds like some hard core hiking. Is this burn or bark beetle damage? I think what climate change deniers don't see is how much hiking now days involves going through burn areas.

I think you're ready for that marathon. (y)
Burn damage and a lot of it. I believe the El Dorado Fire from last year. No joke about burn areas - seems like a lot of hiking I've done lately is through them. Sad on one side but on the other, it is cool to see how the forest slowly starts to regrow and gain its old form.

4 weeks to go for that marathon - need to get running some more as soon as that hole on my heel gets better. Nice thing was that, aside from sleeping until 11 the next morning, I felt relatively fresh to keep going the next day if needed. Previous years, I would be struggling to walk down the stairs for several days.

Legendry timing :beer:@wavesnbabes
The goal was before 4:17 PM to get there in less than 11 hours but that timing worked quite well. Doing 10 miles by 10 AM while also gaining close to 6,000' in elevation during that time was also reward-worthy. :beer:


Tom Curren status
Jul 28, 2005
33.8N - 118.4W
Previous years, I would be struggling to walk down the stairs for several days.
That was me after the marathon…..sore knees and calves. After I started with the sandals I was good to go the next day.

Oh, and the fires… I noticed in the Santa Monica Mountains the old oaks and sycamores mostly seem to survive (Carr Fire, Western Malibu, Mishe Mokwa trail).

Burn areas in Lassen?


Duke status
Jan 11, 2002
The Bar
That was me after the marathon…..sore knees and calves. After I started with the sandals I was good to go the next day.

Oh, and the fires… I noticed in the Santa Monica Mountains the old oaks and sycamores mostly seem to survive (Carr Fire, Western Malibu, Mishe Mokwa trail).

Burn areas in Lassen?
Dixie Fire burned close to a million acres up around Lassen and other points - sad to see but it will all recover (eventually). One benefit of the fires is that morels grow well. Didn't really venture out looking though.

This was just a one-day trek; well, it could easily have been two I suppose. Benefit was that, aside from water, I could pack a lot lighter. But I do want to do the High Sierra Trail next year and could use some solo backpacking practice, maybe a local 40-50 mile trail that can be done in a 3-day weekend or so. Lot of little things I need to learn like securing campsite for bears and whatnot first before venturing out there.


Phil Edwards status
Apr 1, 2002
Did a 3 night trip into Desolation last week with the wife, probably crossed paths with Tenover without knowing it, definitely camped in the same spot within a couple days.

First night at Lake of the Woods, which was super buggy at and after sunset, but it cleared out an hour later and the stars were insane.
Second night at Susie with a dayhike to Gilmore, which just happen to be a haven for naked chicks. :dancing: Heard bears calling to each other that night, which I had never heard before. One sounded like it was within 100 feet at one point.

From there we moved camp to Aloha, then did a dayhike over to Clyde.

Overall it was an amazing trip. Flowers were going off everywhere, it was hot most of the time, so we pretty much jumped into every lake we passed. Awesome sunrise on the morning of the hike out back to Echo.

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Nep status
Jun 23, 2013
WEST of 101
East Lake trip report: Flew to Bridgeport on Monday, hit the Green Creek Trailhead Tuesday morning. Weather was overcast but not raining. The trail is a fairly easy 3.5m, uphill most of the way. Got to East Lake around 10:30. Start setting up camp, my buddy puts together his fly rod and within a half an hour has 2 16" rainbows. Even with the heads and tails cut off they barely fit in my 10" frying pan. Ahh, the smell of trout cooking...and that did not go unnoticed by a bear! Holy sh!t, he wanted in on that...he looked like maybe a 3-yr old bear, probably a couple hundred pounds. We were camped on a ledge that was 20' above the lake and he was all over the place trying to have dinner with us. So we cleaned up everything then were faced with the dilemma of where to put our bear cannisters. There were 7 of us so 7 cannisters...we stashed 'em in a big crack and covered them with rocks and went to bed. About 3am I get woken up and hear that the bear has easily breached our cannister stash. I jump up to go check it out and out of our 7 cannisters there are only 6. Everybody starts looking in the woods thinking he's drug one off. I immediately look in the lake and sure enough, the missing can is floating (and filling with water) in the lake. I grab a rope and tie it to a stick and start casting out over the can trying to hook it a pull it in. Don't really hook it but by pulling the stick past it the water starts moving in the right direction and it eventually floats to the rocky shore and we retrieve it. It's already half full of water so one of our guy's food stash is ruined. He salvaged what he could and we had enough extra so it all worked out.
Too bad he didn't like trout 'cause the trout are plentiful in that lake and we didn't see anything smaller than 10". As to the lake itself, it's a beautiful lake and even if one couldn't get the overnight permit a 3.5m day hike from the trailhead just to fish certainly wouldn't be out of the question. Oh, and the rain...typically the Sierras has buildup in the afternoon with lightning and rain in the afternoon then clears and is sunny the next morning. We happened to be up there when we found out later that nearby Death Valley had the 1000 year rainfall of 1.46" or something like that. We were due to go out on Saturday but on Friday we all said 'let's get outta here'...raining nonstop all day that day.
Panorama from our campsite:
View attachment 1oRt4OSgT%S65tXws30wxg.jpg

Our campsite above the lake:

Momma Merganser and her babies:

I gave a lot of lessons to these beautiful Brook Trout to stay away from the Mepps, lotta catch and release:

Our campsite was on those ledges left of center:

Then on Friday it was time to GTFO:


Duke status
Jun 25, 2008
Los Padres, which is a really good go-to winter backpacking spot with a bunch of hot springs to boot is closed until mid-march...road out of Ojai is wrecked....trails washed out....backcountry roads just straight up gone.

refuse to to Catalina again...thinking of trying out Santa Cruz island given that all this rain will leave some freshwater running in the drainages that are usually dry....won't have to hump water around

it will be interesting to see if we get any more moisture at the tail end of the winter to really buff up the snowpack...at the very least hoping that fires will chill the fk out this summer
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Staff member
Apr 1, 2005
How big is Mt. Baldy?

Doesn't look that big from photos online, but I see some actor dude been missing for 11 days. Seems like given large search teams looking, they would spot his body somewhere already in one of those steep ravines.

I'm thinking of driving down to hike it. Looks beautiful.


Billy Hamilton status
Feb 11, 2004
san diego
Baldy is great, but I've never done it in winter...Devil's backbone trail would be sketchy with snow/ice.