By Izzy Weisz, Sierra Club Youth Ambassador
When did it become the end of August? The entire summer we've been asked where we've been and where we're going. Our spiel always ended with "backpacking in Sequoia," complete with two massive grins and hefty amounts of excitement. And now, after over 30 miles, 6,000 feet total elevation gain, and enough dehydrated peas and carrots to last me a lifetime, we're done travelling. Click on the image below to check out a video of our trip.
It all began on a windy road leading into Mineral King, a valley deep in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. I would be lying if I said we didn't get massively carsick. But all was well once we reached the campground where we were staying before taking off the next morning on our five-day backpacking trip with Sierra Club National Outings. The mixture of gigantic trees and happy-hour tortilla chips & guac started things off nicely.
The exact area we were hiking in was a part of this big spat between Walt Disney and the Sierra Club a few decades back, when Disney wanted to build a ski resort on these peaks. Long story short, stoked that there's no ski resort there -- that would have put a slight damper on our spectacular views.
So Tuesday morning, our eclectic 14-person group set out to get away from all things civilized and get down and dirty. We asked Thomas and Lesley, the group leaders, which day would be the hardest. "The first day, definitely," they told us reassuringly. Only later did we realize this was just a ploy to build up our confidence. The first day was the easiest.
First day setting out (above) vs. after our highest climb, day 4 (below).