Next Meeting:   January 15, 2014 


Program:            Biking the Berlin Wall Trail in Germany and

                 Hiking in the Sachsische Schweiz National Park

                  By Chris and Margit Krato


 The Vulcan Trail Association

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Mammoth Lakes Trip Report

Aug 30:  Six of us flew from Birmingham to Reno.  There we split up and met others to drive to Mammoth Lakes, CA where we met with friends from San Francisco.

Aug 31:  After staying in a campground, we picked up a permit from the ranger station along with a bear canister for each person.  We left the car at the Mammoth Lakes ski lodge and rode the shuttle to Agnew Meadows trailhead.  The permit gets you into the wilderness, but after that your hiking route and campsites are at large.  The bear canister weighed 2 1/2 pounds but held food for four days and doubled nicely as a campstool.  We saw no bears nor traces of bears.  From the trailhead we immediately attacked several hundred feet of straight-up switchbacks with full packs just to give us right attitude for the trip.  After a day of beautiful views and overlooks, Hiker 1found us a campsite on Badger Lake.  This was one of the ten best campsites that I have ever stayed at.

Sept 1:  After hiking about three miles, Hiker 2 decided to cut the heel out of the right boot of this brand new boots rather than go back to Agnew Meadows due to a terminal blister which did not respond to duct tape, mole skin, band aids, holy water or joining the Republican party.  (Please tell me he didnít do that!  Ed.)  This worked great.  He stayed on the trip and was his usual asset with the pharmacy.  We had been on the Pacific Crest Trail and now we intersected the John Muir Trail which led to Thousand Island Lakes. This area deserves a trip in itself, but we pushed on to a campsite on Shadow Creek after passing Emerald, Ruby, Garnet and Shadow Lakes.

Sept 2:  This turned out to be the hardest day of the trip.  We were now at the base of the Minarets and left the John Muir Trail.  We would not pick up a trail again until the next day.  We had to traverse Iceberg and Cecile Lakes, which are so steep that slides create an unstable but beautiful moonscape.  After this, finding the route down to Minaret Lake for a campsite proved to be difficult.  To make matters worse, it was getting late in the day and a big thunderstorm was blowing to the south.  Talking to Lem later, this storm shut them down with lightning and wind, but fortunately we only saw it in the distance.

Sept 3:  After a night at beautiful Minaret Lake with the spires of the Minarets behind us, we took off for the Devils Postpile; however, there was no camping there so we had to go on Reds Meadow which is forest service campground.  We had to buy wood, but they did have a restaurant.  Good burgers and cold beer.

Sept 4:  We caught the shuttle back to Mammoth Lakes and drove to Yosemite National Park and stayed at Tuolumne Meadows Campground.

Sept 5:  We hiked to May Lake and Sunrise lake and both these were awesomely beautiful.  Hiker 1 selected the May Lake hike because of obvious reasons.

Sept 6:  Drove to Reno and flew home the next day.
This entire backpack trip was only about 30 miles, but I would not do it again.  A better trip would be to go from Agnew Meadows to Badger Lake, then on to Thousand Islands Lake and stay there for two or three days and go out by Shadow Lake and back out at Agnew Meadows.  Also an extended trip to Yosemite is a must. Yosemite will see me again.


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Last modified: 02/27/08