The Trout Also Rises

"A blog upon my estutcheon" A weblog about fishing, hunting, hiking, cycling, books, beer, and other random musings. Any humor contained in this site is entirely unintentional and has not been tested on animals. e mail aaaaargh at msndotcom

Location: California

A hunter and fisherman, fascinated with books and history.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Trekking to Charlotte Lake via Kearsarge Pass

Two weeks ago, I took the Troutdaughter and her boyfriend on a backpacking trip to California's Eastern Sierras. Our destination was Charlotte Lake. We arrived at the Onion Valley campground on the last day of June, and gave ourselves some time to get used to the altitude. The campground is over 9,000' high.

On Saturday morning, we began our uphill trek to Kearsarge Pass. The scenery in this part of the Sierras is incredible.

Near the top, the vegetation thins out, as does the air.

The view from the top is well worth it. To the east lies the Owens Valley, far below and the distant White Mountains. To the west, there is a breathtaking view of the Kearsarge Pinnacles and a wonderful lake-studded alpine country. We paused for a while and had lunch, watched by a number of marmots.

From the pass, we headed down towards Charlotte Lake, where we spent the night. The weather was fine and the mosquitos were not too bad. The fishing at the lake was poor, but we did see a blue grouse on the way. The grouse was "booming" for a mate, and was arrayed in a partial courtship display.

One of the highlights of the trip was meeting a number of through hikers pushing north on the Pacific Crest Trail. These hardy souls had started at the Mexican border in April and early May, and were trying to reach the Canadian border before winter. I was impressed at how fit and tough they looked. Fewer people have completed the PCT (in one go) than have climbed Mt Everest, so it is an impressive feat.