Older Scout Sierra Trek – August 7th- August 17th

The troop leaders council selected this year’s older scout Sierra Trek as the High Sierra Trail. This trip begins at Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park at an altitude of 6,700 feet. It climaxes by going over Trail Crest at 13,680 feet. And the trip would not be complete without the side trip to the highest point in the continental United States, Mount Whitney, 14,449 feet.

The troop has secured spots for 10 hikers for this trip. The current sign up list includes our current Senior Patrol Leader Vaughn Forte, Timmy Hirsch, Nathan Wong, Sam Johnson, Max Johnson, and Jeremiah Swider. Scoutmaster Johnson and Mr. Swider are the adults rounding out this trip. There are two spots remaining for Troop 26 members or parents who are up to the challenge. We will continue training for this hike by completing 60% of troop activities, especially day hikes and over night outings.

The trip begins one day later than on the current troop calendar due to scheduling logistics. On Sunday August 7th, the crew will leave Santa Barbara and drive to Lodgepole Campground to pick up the wilderness permit and set up camp to acclimate. We will also take the opportunity to tour the giant Sequoia grove which makes Sequoia National Park so famous. The crew and drivers will spend one night in Lodgepole campground. Mondaymorning the drivers will take the crew to Crescent Meadow and and watch them embark on a trip to be remembered for a lifetime. The crew will spend 10 days traversing the Sierra Nevada mountain range, visiting favorite spots Bearpaw Meadow, Hamilton Lake (for a layover day) and Crabtree Meadow. And the trip would not be complete without spending a some time lounging in the famous Kern Hot Springs. And did I mention we plan to summit Mount Whitney also?

The logistics for this trip are a bit challenging. We start our trek in Tulare County, and end up in Inyo County. While the distance as the crow flies is only about 50 miles, the driving time from the trail head to the trail end does not allow the participants to be self sustained. We will need a minimum of two drivers to drop the crew and their gear off at Crescent Meadow, as well as two drivers to pick up the crew at Whitney Portal. As mentioned above the drivers at to the trail head will need to spend the night there, but those picking up can make it a day trip, as the troop will not likely be to the trail head before early afternoon. The troop has successfully spent the night on top of Mount Whitney the past two treks, but that is always subject to weather constraints.

Current and potential crew members, start planning on thinning your gear to the essentials, as carrying ten days of food is a physical and mental challenge. Parents of crew members, plan on how you can help the crew have a successful trip, either by driving one direction, or maybe driving the other. There are only 5 scout families presently on the crew, and we need 4 drivers. It is also very welcoming for the crew to be greeted by already prepared “city” food when they arrive at Whitney portal. If you can not drive you can hopefully help prepare some good food for the crew to enjoy when they arrive.

The cost for this trip is $200. First payment of $50 is due by April 5. Final payment of $150 is due by July 5. This cost will cover driver’s gas, all food starting Aug 7 dinner, a trip T-shirt, park entrance fees, etc. Note the trip T-shirt. We need a crew member to volunteer to create artwork for the trip shirt. Artwork submittal due to Mr. Johnson by May 1 for final selection. Show your artistic talents and Photo shop expertise and submit a T-shirt design for the trip.

Mr. Swider

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