High Sierra's Ritter Range Backpacking/Photography Trip, July 2013
When I was in the Owens Valley this Spring, looking up at the Sierra's eastern front, I couldn't believe that I hadn't hiked in my favorite mountains for about 30 years. So this summer I substituted a 10 day backpacking trip for my annual week long bicycling tour.
Teaming up with Bend friend, Andy, we spent a couple weeks planning and outfitting ourselves for the endeavor. 12+ pounds of photo equipment and 3+ pounds of required bear canisters spurred each of us to "invest" in new, lighter equipment; and we got the weight of each of our packs down to just over 50 pounds. After a 10 hour drive down and a night's stay at Mammoth Lakes, we were able to secure a wilderness permit for the same day, caught the Devils Postpile shuttle into Agnew Meadows, and hiked 8-ish miles up the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River and Shadow Creek into Lake Ediza. The wildflowers were so amazing, and explorations so fun, that we spent 6 days there. As a result, I was able to explore the area in more breadth and depth than my previous 4-5 visits, combined. Other than a thunderstorm the last full day, we had hot, clear days and warm nights. There are galleries below that describe, and show images, from four Lake Ediza areas: Lake Ediza itself, Nydiver Lakes to the north, the high cirgue meadows to the SW, and Iceberg Lake to the south.
We then moved camp to the north and finished the trip with two additional campsites at Garnet and Thousand Island Lakes (individual galleries below).