Life Elevated - Rising Higher
- Feb 25, 2013
Preparing for 50 miles of Adventure
It was a dream come true for me. I have wanted to go on a week long backpacking trip for a LONG time. Yeah, yeah. I know. I have been on a few week long camps before, some even required backpacking about 20 miles or so; but none have ever required me to pack my own stuff for 5 nights. (the 10 day Kayak trip to Canada doesn't count either haha)
Anyway, after months and months of planning, our 50 mile high Uinta trek has now come and gone. Last year, myself and the Varsity Team Coach began plans for doing a 50 mile trek. It was so exciting and I delighted in planning this kind of adventure. I began searching the internet for good ideas and routes. I found internet forums where avid backpackers swarmed; that is when they were not out backpacking themselves. Backcountrypost.com and Bogley were particularly good in helping me develop our plans.
I wrote a few posts on the various forums and received some great feedback. A fellow scout leader, Jon, sent me a personal message telling me about a 50 mile trip in the Unitas they did a few years ago. He was so helpful and was willing to provide me with all the GPS tracks and everything! After I looked over his trip report, and did some other research, it was clear that the route Jon suggested covered some of the best scenery in all of the Utah mountain ranges, if not some of the best in the US!
I was SO EXCITED for this trip! For months I researched, planned, and prepared. At the end of 2013 I weighed 215 lbs. In preparation for the upcoming trek I even began counting calories and eating well so I could shed some pounds. The day I left for the trek I weighed 191 lbs! Needless to say, preparing for this trip has changed my life in multiple ways! I also took the opportunity to purchase some new, high quality gear! It was so fun for me to research, find, and buy lightweight gear for the trip. Indeed, preparing for the trip was almost as much fun as going one it.
The Varsity Scouts had also been preparing for the trip. Brother Wilkins, the Varsity Coach, did well at planning hikes and campouts to help get the boys use to hiking long distances. All in all, preparation for something like this is key to success. It also proved to be a lot of fun for all who participated.
Executing the Plan
July 14 came a lot quicker than I ever imagined. We had 3 adult leaders, and 4 Varsity Scouts on this trip. Little did we know how amazing this trip would be for us; how it would change us for the better!
Lets talk logistics. I figured this trip would best be done as a through trip (instead of a round trip). By leaving cars at the end of the trail, and then getting dropped off at the Trailhead, it would be easier to convince the boys (when the going got really hard) that we HAD to finish the hike; that there was no other option since the cars we needed to take us home were 50 miles away and the car that dropped us off was long gone. (This logic proved to be very effective on Day 1 after the 12 mile hike!) Huge THANK YOU and shout out to Brother Bailey. He is our Scout Committee Chairman and was so willing to help drive us and drop us off.
Getting dropped off was perfect. for the rest of the time, we used my trusty GPS and pre programed tracks. Made the navigation really easy, which was very welcome for a BSA Scout trip.
Living the Dream
I love good mountain scenery. Not much gets me more excited than peering into lake near glacier carved cirque at the bottom of a large triangle shaped mountain and skree field, located miles and miles away from other people! (Adding some waterfalls and meandering stream make it even better) This trip was filled with so many of these kind of places and I almost killed over with delight! My feelgoods were on fire for the whole trip! After 6 days of this, I only craved more. Already, I am planning another weeklong trek for next year!
Here is our itinerary for the week. It was an amazing way to see the High Uintas!
Day 1 - West Fork Black's Fork to Dead Horse Lake
Day 2 - Upper Rock Creek Trail to Lightning Lake
Day 3 - Rocky Sea Pass to Four Lakes Basin
Day 4 - Grandaddy Basin, Pine Island, and Pinto Lake
Day 5 - Naturalist Basin and Jordan Lake
Day 6 - Trek Home and Cheeseburgers