Being Prepared

I was a Cub Scout as a boy, but not a Boy Scout. Still, I’ve lived long enough to know the value of preparation. Yesterday, I was not prepared for outdoor conditions. The Heart Lake Trail from Castle Lake to Heart Lake is not a horribly difficult trail, but there is a reason all the guide books and websites call it a seasonal trail, with May to October as the primary season. It’s not intended to be a winter trail. And I found that out. And even though the trail is almost a thousand feet lower than Mono Lake, the two terrains and climates are very different. I was plenty warm, but with a starting temp of 18F at Castle Lake and an altitude temp of 13, I did not prep adequately. Here are several of the things I did wrong:

1. Wrong pants. Jeans are fine as an outer layer if they have adquate movement, and you’re not going to expose them to too much moisture. The snow I encountered was usually frozen enough to walk on but not always. Occasionally, I fell through and, because I had also worn the wrong jeans—straight leg instead of flare—snow got into my boots. 

2. I wore good boots (Salomon), but there was enough ice on the trai where crampons would have been a good option to carry, especially returning downhill. 

3. My trail guide was inadequate. I had a reasonable idea of the trail, but it’s not well-marked , and where the occasional footprints of others helped, they were not adequate. Again, winter is not the ideal time to try out a new trail some. 

4. I did not bring hiking poles, forgot to wear my knee braces, and carried insufficient water. I found a sturdy branch to use as a single  stick.  My pack has a slot for a water bladder, but I opted for a water bottle. When it fell out without me noticing, I was dry for the last hour of the climb. 

5. I carried too much equipment for a first time on the trail. Four lenses, a medium format body, two digital backs, and sufficient large filters were too much. 

Lesson learned. Maybe.

Leave a comment
Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.
Other Posts
Celebrate Administrative Professionals!
Apr 8, 2024
Celebrate Administrative Professionals!
Celebrate Administrative Professionals!
Read more
Appareo II: Luminance Reductio
Americas
California
Landscape
Monochrome
Yosemite
Feb 28, 2024
Appareo II: Luminance Reductio
Impressions of grandeur between 0 and 255.
Read more
Leviathans
Americas
California
Landscape
Yosemite
Feb 20, 2024
Leviathans
Where the immeasurable mountains dwarf the mist, wrestle with gravity and reach for the heavens
Read more
Back In The Kitchen: Pasta Primavera with Chicken
Cooking
Kitchen
recipes
Feb 19, 2024
Back In The Kitchen: Pasta Primavera with Chicken
This is an outstanding dish in both flavor and texture. The key to success is in the preparation: be absolutely certain to have each item chopped and/or prepared before you...
Read more
Bracchium
Americas
Hawaii
Landscape
Maui
nature
Oceana
Jan 10, 2024
Bracchium
The Pīpīwai Trail, a beautiful trail in Haleakala National Park, where you will find Makahiku Falls, a very zen bamboo forest, 400-foot tall Waimoku Falls, and this stunning banyan tree.
Read more