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July and August 2009: Backpacking in the Sierra Mountains

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In July and August, Annie and I went on two backpacking trips in the Sierra Mountains. The destination of the first adventure was Arrow Peak, a prominent mountain in Kings Canyon National Park. On the second trip, we climbed two peaks south of Mt. Whitney.

3-5 July 2009: Arrow Peak
The first backpacking trip started close to the little village of Aberdeen, located in Owens Valley, between Independence and Big Pine. On the first day, I hiked with Annie and two of her friends to Taboose Pass. With over 40 pounds on by back, it was a strenuous 6000 feet climb from the trailhead! We continued to Bench Lake where we set up camp.

I got up early the next day to watch the sunrise. Arrow Peak started to glow in red and was reflected in Bench Lake. It was spectacular! After a hearty breakfast we started hiking through untouched forests and along streams with turquoise water. We passed a beautiful lake surrounded by a lush mountain meadow. The last part of the hike up Arrow Peak was a steep ascent over scree. And then I stood on the summit, 12958 feet over sea level! It was the highest peak I've ever climbed! After enjoying the views for almost one hour with Annie, we retraced our steps and were back at camp shortly before sunset. We celebrated the day with a glass of wine and made sure that the Mosquitos didn't get a sip.

Taboose Pass

Nature Pure


Sunrise #1

On top

Bench Lake from the top

Darn Mosquitos!

Sunrise #2




14-16 August 2009: Meysan Lake Area
The destination of the second trip was Mount Mallory (13850 ft) and Mount LeConte (13930 ft). Both peaks are a few miles south of Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the contiguous United States. We started hiking at Whitney Portal, going up the Meysan Lake Trail. Enroute we passed a couple of beautiful small lakes embedded in green meadows. We arrived at Meysan Lake in the late afternoon and pitched our tents. The lake was sparkling in the evening sun and I couldn't resist to go for a swim in the crystal clear water.

The next day, we climbed up Mount Mallory, scrambling up a steep chute. When I stood on the summit, I set a new personal record for the highest mountain climbed. But this new record lasted only a short time: two hours later, I set foot on Mount LeConte, which is 80 feet higher. Two records in one day, woo hoo!  


Mount Whitney

Meysan Lake Trail

Sparkling Meysan Lake

Our little house

Buttress of Mt. Irvine

Morning glow

On top of Mt. Mallory

Walking down scree

Annie on top of LeConte

Meysan Lake from LeConte

Happy Trees

What tree is that?



After three days, our hike finally came to an end. We hiked back to Whitney Portal and drove home to San Diego with brains overflowing of memories.


Camp Lake

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Last updated: 23 January 2016