When I first began backpacking in 2011, one of my goals was to backpack in the Sierra Nevada. A few weeks prior to the trip, I received an email from a good friend of mine inviting me to a multi-day trip to Ediza Lake. This past year, I had to pass on a few Sierra trips due to family and personal obligations. The summer season has been tough for me and finding time to backpack has been a challenge. This trip fortunately, was scheduled on a perfect weekend and I couldn't pass it up.
- September 26 - Drive to Mammoth and spend the evening at a friends cabin.
- September 27/28 - Meet at the Mammoth VIsitor Center to arrange carpool, etc. to the Agnew Meadows Trail Head. Then hike to Ediza Lake and camp.
- September 29 - Hike out and head home to Los Angeles.
It's been a while since I've done a multi-day backpacking trip so I had to plan the gear I would bring along with the food I would need to bring.
Day 1: Thursday, September 27th.
I drove to my friends house and we leave Los Angeles at 2PM. The drive to Mammoth took us around 5 hours. We did the whole tourist thing and stopped for gas, snacks, etc.
|USPS Independence CA|
Day 2: Friday, September 28th.
It was a sleepless night for me despite our comfortable accommodations. I guess I was anxious and excited for the trip and I couldn't sleep. Thoughts of "Did I bring everything I need?" and "Did I pack enough food?" kept racing in my head.
Before meeting with the rest of the group, we decided to grab some breakfast at The Stove. We needed a good breakfast before our hike...we would need it.
We drove to the Mammoth Visitor Center to meet everyone at 8AM and drove to the Agnew Meadows trail head by 9AM.
|Ansel Adams Wilderness...I'm here!|
|First glimpse of Shadow Lake|
We stopped at Shadow Lake for a quick snack before heading to Ediza Lake. From the photo above, you can get a glimpse of the Minarets. After taking an hour break, we all regroup and continue on with our hike.
We continue hiking via the Shadow Creek Trail till we hit another wooden bridge. At this point, the directions to Ediza seemed confusing. After consulting our topo's we figured out where we were supposed to go.
Once again, like the hike to Shadow Lake, the Sierra blesses us with more tough uphill stairs. After a bend, we can finally view Ediza Lake from a distance...tired but not dead, I smile. We made it!!!
|Home for the weekend|
Day 3: Saturday, September 28th.
The first night was cold. Temperatures dropped to 28 degrees Friday evening. I wore all of my layers and I was happy to have kept warm. I slept comfortably with no cold spots...it was wonderful.
I woke up at around 6AM to experience my first Sierra sunrise. Walked around Ediza and just enjoyed the views. The alpine glow in the Sierra is simply a sight to see...
Everyone at camp wakes up eventually. No one is rushing, everyone at their own pace. The beauty of a base camp. We all gather at our camp kitchen and decide what the group wants to do for the day. We noticed as we hiked in the day before, the trail to Iceberg Lake was not far from where we were. A few of us decide to check it out after we had our breakfast.
The trail heading to Iceberg Lake isn't that difficult but the first 600 feet of the trail can be quite a climb. Luckily, it's only for maybe half a mile or so. At this point, I didn't really care...I was excited at the prospect of seeing another alpine lake.
After the uphill climb, we reach a plateau and the views open up. Both Banner and Ritter peaks on your right and the beautiful Minarets right in front of you. I have to say that I had a "God" moment on that section of the trail. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and magnificence of where I was...I couldn't help it.
The hike to Iceberg Lake was by far my favorite throughout this whole trip. It's difficult for me to find the words to accurately describe what I felt, what I saw, and what I experienced. The photos I took of what I experienced cannot possibly express what it felt being there. For the lack of a better word, it was awe-inspiring.
|Approach to Cecile Lake|
The hike back to camp was anti-climatic, knowing that what lies below us cannot compare with what we just saw. Arriving back at camp, we found out there were others in our group who were heading to Nydiver Lakes...I missed that chance - this would be another lake for me to visit next year hopefully. We spent the rest of the afternoon day hiking around the surrounding hills near Ediza and just enjoyed where were as a whole.
As everyone returns from their hikes for the day, we gather for the last dinner of the trip. We talk and discuss the trail, we talk about food, and we plan our next adventure. I really had a great time with everyone on this trip and I am so thankful to have been part of such an awesome group of backpackers. It was wonderful to be able to share my first Sierra experience with everyone...this is by far my favorite trip in a long time and one that I will always remember.
The following morning, we have a leisure breakfast before packing it all up. We all leave Ediza around 8AM.
Three fast hours later, we reach our cars...ending another trip. Sad to leave but as much as I fell in love with the Sierra Nevada Range, I have a family and obligations to go home to. I did leave inspired knowing that I can accomplish anything in this life. I have set goals since starting backpacking and it all lead to this. I got in shape, lightened my gear, improved my health and my overall life...it's paid off.
Till the next adventure, see you on the trails.
|My feeling throughout this adventure in one picture!|