4.11.2009

Life at 5200'

I'm back. What's that? You didn't know I was gone? I went for an overnight hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). We just live too close not to take advantage of the awesome trails and mountains.

I just did the calculation of what I consumed in the 24 hour period that I was out. It came in at just over 6000 calories. This does not include the 800 calorie "snack" I smashed immediately upon returning home...or the dinner with Nicole 3 hours after that. Yikes, maybe I should track my consumption during the week sometime.

Anywho, on with the trip report. Upon Stitch's recommendation I was heading up to Mt. Pacifico. Shortly after leaving the car it started to hail. It was only going to get worse since my camp would be at around 7100'.

About 7 miles in, lightning came through the clouds and huge booming thunder surrounded me. It gets a crazy effect rumbling through the different sets of mountains. The hail picked up as well and I decided being exposed on a ridge during this storm was not a good place to be. I headed back down about 3 miles to where I had last seen a good water source - and some decent trees for the hammock to hang. Before long the hail turned into big wet flakes of snow.

The picture above was taken from under the hammock tarp as I was finishing setting up camp. It does not look like much, but it was wet cold sleet. A couple degrees colder would have been much better as everything would be solid.

I was happy to be set up and relax a bit. After filling up my water supply there wasn't much to do but eat, read, and get as warm and dry as possible. I accomplished all of these tasks.

The night went really well. I had packed more clothes than I wanted to but ended up using it all and stayed warm comfortable in the hammock. Note the green "underquilt" in the next photo. This awesome piece of gear was courtesy of P. Dawg during the AT hike. Hanging in the air while sleeping robs you of your heat from below. You can use a ground pad inside, but I find the underquilt to be much more comfortable. Note that the rainfall overnight melted most of the snow.

About this next picture. Um, biggest pine cone ever. It was bigger than my foot, and points sharp as knives!

Parting shot...my lonely pack with snow covered mountains in the distance.
Questions? Comments?

6 comments:

T. said...

yeah what pack is that?:) good to see you are still alive and kickin'. Heard the PCT is beautiful. Hey- I never thought about a quilt for the hammock. I learned the heat sucking abilities of hammocking the hard way- last time I used my thermarest but it was lumpy and awkward. Where'd your buddy get the underquilt and how lightweight is it?

Dave said...

The pack is the Golite Jam2. It's the one I used for the AT. I have condensation and comfort issues with sleep pads in hammocks. This quilt weighs in at 21oz. It has a slit so it can be worn as an insulating camp layer, velcro that can form a foot pocket so that it can be used as a 20 degree overquilt, or as you see...an underquilt suspended from a hammock. The company is Jacks R Better. If I would have had time before leaving I would have put together a gear list and posted it. I love gear.

by Ben said...

I would imagine the SoCal PCT is not as easy to hang a hammock as the AT, but you probably had it made in the big pines.

Glad my recommendation didn't lead to a lightning strike or hypothermia.

Deep Creek was a blast. Probably a bit warmer than you were. Ha.

I look forward to hitting the trail with you soon. ADZPCTKO is right around the corner!

Dave said...

Stitch, it was tricky finding good trees. The AT was always easy to find "lodging". I'll make it all the way up there soon. Perhaps you'll join me. Deep Creek looks amazing. ADZPCTKO! Oh, I forgot the wildlife report. Random birds - nothing abnormal...not that I would know, a couple of squirrels, and a coyote. No wonder I forgot (zzzzzz).

Scarecrow said...

Looks beautiful. Thanks for the report and glad the blanket is still being enjoyed.

Dave said...

P. Dawg, the quilt remains one of my most prized pieces of gear. I'll never forget it showing up at a mail drop on the AT. Thank you.

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