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Jeff's Backpacking Trips

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Sierra Nevada: Morgan Pass to Mono Pass - 1988
July 1988

A friend of mine named Mike invited me and Dave on a backpacking trip up to the Sierra's. Our destination was to begin at the Mosquito Flats trailhead up near Tom's Place off the 395. After Mike finished a 10K on Saturday, we drove up to pick up Dave and proceeded to drive Dave's car up the 395. Since Dave worked at a pizza place, we ate pizza on the way up. We arrived and picked up our permit. We spent one night at the USFS campground near Tom's place. The next morning we packed up and got our packs ready.  We drove up to the trailhead. The trailhead serves several trails. Our goal was to hike up over Morgan pass, then up to Italy pass, then along Lake Edison and up to and then down from Mono pass to complete the hike.

The first day out we were slow going mostly because of the eclectic gear we brought and the little time to acclimate. We did experience some rain with a bit of hail just over the Morgan pass. We proceeded to travel along for a few days. The trail took us down near a mine and then up to Pine Lake. We all crashed hard that night. The next day we hiked near lovely honeymoon lakes and then up to Italy pass. We enjoyed a lunch up on top and then hiked down to the Lake Italy. We got frost that night and the water froze in our bottles. The are was remote and tranquil out there. Since most people had to take 2 days to get there and it was off the main trail, only 2 other parties were camped at that lake. The next day we descended to more forest like are and proceeded to hike to the Lake Edison. We camped there under the stars. I negotiated my way into the middle of the tarp so the other guys would be my bear alarms. I was new to camping under the stars in the remote area so felt better with my buddies on the edges.

The next day we hiked slowly uphill until just before Mono Pass. We camped another night and then proceeded up to Mono Pass. I made some gatorade slushy on the saddle of the pass. We also started see many more people both day hikers and backpackers starting their trips. We made it down to the car and relaxed a bit in the creek before heading back to San Diego.

This trip was one of my earlier trips (as you can see from the pictures). I did carry almost 40 pounds and had some awful construction boots I wore. We carried lots of heavy food. But after 5 days of hiking, I was feeling pretty well in shape by the end of the trip.