On August 6th, three scouts and three adults from Troop 26 took the long drive to the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. We camped in the Sierra’s for 5 nights and did one night of car camping. The trip was long and tiring because we were hiking above 9,000 feet and were carrying over 45 pounds of weight on our backs. The trip started at the Duck Pass trailhead at 9,105 feet and went over Duck Pass which had a peak of 10,800 feet. We camped at Arrowhead Lake, Duck Lake, Purple Lake, and Virginia Lake.
When we first arrived at the car camping site everybody was feeling the effects of the elevation. That night we went out for pizza and went back to camp full. The next morning we packed up our tents, ate a quick breakfast of bagels and cream cheese, and drove to the Duck Pass trailhead. We consulted the map and then were on our way to Arrowhead Lake, which was 1.3 miles into the trail. After about 0.2 miles we saw a sign saying we were entering the John Muir Wilderness. When we got to the sign we were panting and taking huge breaths because it was all uphill and had many switchbacks. About 0.9 miles after the sign, we saw the trail junction sign pointing us toward Arrowhead Lake. We finally started down towards Arrowhead after a tiring 1.1 miles. While hiking past the lake we could see trout swimming in the shallows right next to the trail. We crossed a small river and climbed some rocks to get to our first camp. We were all very tired and ready to relax. After a quick lunch, some people went fishing, and the more daring scouts jumped off the rocks near the lake.That night, we had delicious spaghetti and bread, and some of the fish that had been caught. The next morning, we hit the trail at roughly 11:00 am and started toward Duck Pass. We had amazing views going up the pass and at the peak. After going over the mountain we went down a mile long downward slope to the lunch area. We had lunch then kept going toward Purple Lake, which was another 3.5 miles away. Next we had a long uphill slog and arrived very sore. We arrived late at the camp so we didn’t have time to explore the lake or to fish. The next morning we had eggs and hashbrowns for breakfast. After packing up, we hit the trail, which was 2 miles mostly uphill towards Virginia Lake. We arrived early in the afternoon, so we had some time to rest and have lunch before setting up camp. Some people went fishing but had no success. That night was a simple dinner. Bright and early the next morning, some people woke to find their bear cans had frozen, and had to use their lighters to open them. We hit the trail at 9:00 am and started towards Duck Lake. We had to go up a lot of switchbacks and uphill so it took us a long time to get there. Everybody was in high spirits because we were finally at the layover stop. The next morning the scouts and the adults had a snowball fight on one of the small glaciers that dotted the area near the campsite. Some people went and had a freezing dip in Pika Lake to clean themselves off. That night we had a relaxing dinner of chili mac and cheese and made donut holes for dessert. The next morning everybody was happy and packs were light, so we headed up toward the pass. It took us 1.5 hours to go up and then down Duck Pass because our packs were so light. At the bottom we took a quick water break and hiked all the way down towards Arrowhead Lake. We arrived at the trailhead at around 1:00 pm. Impressively, it had taken us 3 hours to go 5 miles. We took a lunch break at Little Caesars in Bishop on the way home, then went the rest of the way home to SB. We got to Santa Barbara at almost 9:00 pm. Everybody was tired and ready to go to sleep in their own beds.