Cartridge Raw - cartridgeraw

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Welcome to the pictures I've taken on a backpacking trip through King's Canyon in the High Sierra, August 2012.  These photos are displayed in raw organization.

The general area is Cartridge Creek, also called the Monarch Divide, separating two forks of the Kings River.  It is an area of the Sierra formerly used as part of the John Muir Trail, but that old JMT route was abandoned in 1938.  It is just about treeline, so the first day was spent climbing about 5000 up the canyon wall.  <bummer>The trip was intended to be a 9-day, 100-mile loop at treeline (10,000'), but was shortened when the mountains defeated us.</bummer> That doesn't mean that it wasn't a grand adventure. As the ranger said, even if things went wrong, at least I'm out there trying!  To shorten the trip I had to hike 20 miles out the last day, part of it during a torrential downpour with yet more lightning all around!

Along the way I spotted what I now believe to be one of the formerly-believed to be extinct red sequoia foxes, I fell down the mountain into the boulders and lost my glasses*, on a pass eagles swooped past so closely I could hear the wind through their feathers, and I had a first-time-for-me experience of being in a tent as lightning crashed around but a quarter mile away (see NOLS link to right). Some equipment failures, some injuries, but a grand time.

* I have been asked to describe the fall.  Imagine walking down a 70° slope, and then pitching forward onto your face, that's about a 160° rotation.  Feeling your ankle twist as your legs folded beneath you, the muscles in your legs twist and spasm, your hands frantically fending off the boulders rushing at you, your legs and hands scraping, scraping, scraping, and finally the point on one boulder rushing to your left eye, hammering the lens on your glasses; you're sure the lens will shatter and shards will forever be in your eye, then the lens sliding away from the impact and your forehead finally coming to rest on that boulder.  Finally, stillness, but you're face down on a very steep slope and there is pain everywhere.  You push up and your glasses fall away, down into the chasm between the boulders.  Oh, good, now you're blind in a different way.  It was, after all, time to get off that mountain.

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Another Loop

Approaching the Sierra from the Eastern Escarpment, find another photo journal at:
http://www.lakeitalyloop.shutterfly.com

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Jeffrey Z

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9/2/2012 10:03:37 AM - 005094564890
Great photos mate and quite a tale to tell. Good luck to you for future trips.
8/22/2012 6:36:14 PM - fb:1491192679
YOU know how to live!
8/22/2012 2:38:17 AM - 005090313493
Great photos Jeffrey. Thanks for sharing them. Seeing snow on the mountain peaks is amazing, and the photos of the mountain lakes are awesome. What a experience! Jasper
8/13/2012 8:27:39 PM - 005086591243
You did have an adventure! The eagles and the lightning strikes outside the tent alone were worth the trip. Thanks for sharing!

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