These pics are from fellow Summiteer Mr.Mark.He was a Beast and captured so great shots to document this dream come true.
Below was a shot at a point where we stopped to leave a small “offering” to the “the Man”.Red Deer Landjager and some Einkorn hardtack and parched corn this spot was the approximate altitude of the Otzi find in the Italian Alps…this was pretty moving and was in the plans since day one…I am thankful it got to happen…since the first try in 2015 we had to retreat just below this point…
In May 2015, a first go for the summit of Mount Whitney was attempted. we were shut down, due to blizzard, and turning back the first day just above Lone Pine Lake was maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do on any trip.
“To be continued is better than the end”
This was what I came up with to ease the pain.
In 2018 a permit was secured by a Buddy in California for Oct 15 and 16th…this is right on the edge of frigid as far as the Eastern Sierra goes.a USAF SERE Specialist sighned on to go as well.We had our share of epics, including a previous trip and Summit of Whitney in 06.
We met at Whitney Portal camp On Oct 13th and hung out and ate round a killer scrounged fire,and I have got to admit I was a knot of nerves with things just ripping through my head “what if’ing” to a scale of gargantuan proportions…and a bit scared.
My rules are:
-Take what you need to enjoy your trip safely
– never activate the chain of risk to Rescue
and the rule of the Mrs -you just have to come home.
There’s more but throw in all the goat hide pack and clothing,iconic kit found with Otzi,a Bear hat, in a active Bear area…not to mention, the whole, do this with respect and tribute to a Man and a time…always thinking he died a horrible death on a Mountain 5300 years ago…back to my simple 3 rules…
This idea came to Me, I believe in my 40th year and started to solidify about 45 to do for my 50th.The closer it got to the first shot many came out to show support for travel as well as materials to make the gear.every day after work was spent making and testing everthing from fire carry,stone and shell lamps cook, pots, food items the whole “lifeboat” plan as well as alternate Mountain studies, uses for some of the iconic gear beyond just what they were.the best example:to justify 14 unfinished arrows.the solution was using shoots with medicinal properties such as willow contains salicylic acid “aspirin” a shoot of live Oak can be scraped to extract Tannic acid to ease sunburn pain sooth stomach as well as a gargle for sore throat this with willow cover most Mountain ailments…
From here Im going to ad some pics starting with the pack frame.it is shown here with a section of grass cape lashed to the cross support as well as “le Manche” or sleaves for the tunic
I had went back home to Lake Arrowhead to be with my Wife and other Family who had spent about 6 weeks with her Sister in her final days.
Wendy had Lost Her battle with cancer and we all got together to celebrate this true Guardian Angels life…
The day After the service, My wife was on a flight back to Texas and since I drove out I would be here a few more days…the San Bernardinos were glorious and I could amost hear Wendy say, go hiking you Love that stuff as clear as My Wife when she said it the day before…to myself,I said, this is for Wendy and Im gonna go big as time allows.
It hit me Big Bear,on the way up I can drop in on My ol running buddy Jim Hess a forest Service Ledged and then head to Big Bear and do one of the chutes of the Arctic Circle these chutes are pretty gnarly chutes of snow ice and rock that climb off the Highway going to Big Bear
I made it to Jims House but he and his wife were not home…Damn it I adore them both…on to Big Bear and the chutes I saw so muchheading up so many great memories here and a few close calls
Snow Valley where when I had the first Sims Snowboard in the San Bernardinos but with a little help from local Ski patrol we could walk half the day up and “bootleg” one run down to a waiting car Where we would make our get away only to walk back up our broken trail for one more run before the lights went on for the night sesh.
Across from SV is the Cabin a Buddy Jim Lyons once had on a 100 year FS Lease featured in my “Cabin Mistake” post
The snow was coming down real light and the sky had broken clouds at different levels I stopped at Lake view point but knew I could not capture the beauty with my phone cam so I just took that all in.I was literally moved to tears I miss those Mountains so much…
The first chute turnout on the downhill lane was crawling with sledders and though they only used about 40 or 50 yards of the chute I couldnt park due to the hap hazard flatlanderedness nor could I stand the thought of wading through thier littering, snotting carcasses with my old timey Alpine kit…I kept driving towards the chute below Butler’s peak but the same scene of snow ticks were en-massed…
CASTLE ROCK! sez I that where I’ll go.
I crossed the dam and gave thanks as I hit the curves snaking through the boulders…Jim Lyons runs a Swiss 6 wheel off road service and I looked it up maybe ill check up on him.I spent about 400 hours or more doing followups on San Gorgonio with Jim and a chap named Pete Liapez who is a Mountain beast and knows more about the Natives that lived here than science since they once told Pete The San Bernardino county museum knows everything about the Yuhaviatam (Serrano ) and did not need his help…dicks
We did followups on San Gorgonio after the search for Jarred Negrette was called off we looked it all the weird stuff from reports from a Psychic,wild man,survivalist (cringe),cult chanting you name it this was in 92 and Jim Got the boot after he reported a pentagram was found layed out in rocks He was also the local news Man who featured yours truley on the local TV show demonstrating various Survival and Woodcraft skills…the County Sherriff demanded who ever said that shit is fired theres now devil worship in my forrest…but there was a big ass pentagram cause we found it and thats odd considering how big that intial search was…we’ll cover that later
Notes:Gave Jim a call, left message and headed to Castle Rock
Got a spot in theturnout aka Castle Rock trail head
From the road it looked like a load of snow and that meant I aint gonna f### around basic pack ice ax and crampons
There is a trick to crossing roads dressed like a extra in the Eiger Sanction it is the same as crossing a road dressed like a down aircrew member behind enemy lines…its pretty cool thats all im gonna say
Crossed the line of communication, I mean road, and shot up a gulley to the cover of some boulders and I was winded lol Big Bear is up there and it was a good burn ofthe lung and once thats over you just take your time
On with the “manclaws”…
To be continued
Well it seems a lot of my blog on another site has disapeared so since this is here I hope to assemble in no real order some of the highs and lows of the last few years.As Luke the Drifter once said we’re all still livin’ so evra’thangs OK
Im not much of a writer so try to follow along.
It seems the last time I checked in was around the Otzi build up and Expedition.this was to be my 50th birthday trio of a lifetime that quickly turned for the worst on day one at Whitney portal when a blizzard,hail,rain,sleet,blizzard,freeze shut down the attempt.
I had started out of the Whitney portal with three others in support. myself, wearing the gear found with Otzi the Ice Man.
I had worked for months on the build of the the gear with many in support through donations and well wishes all was going great permits were aquired travel was covered and I arived safe to my beloved San Bernardinos to stay a few days at around 6000 feet before heading to the portal.
Before the three chaps showed, I had some time to go over gear thin and pad where needed and I dont think I sat still for hours.to be blunt the weather was shit! Rain,sleet, snow break then start all over.I had set a tarp up almost seconds after arival since I could feel no break in site.
I tried to ajust what I would need to complete the climb with all of the iconic Otzi gear plus the gear needed to get up and more importantly down a 14,496 foot Mountain
I had learn a ton about this time and one thing I found was Otzi was not traveling in a blizzard depicted in the recreations, but fare weather.
the find complex tells me that, and,growing up in the Mountains tells me that.the stuff he was wearing was about as blizzard worthy as a pentalton and a pair of levi’s. then more than ever people could read more about the environment that most of us “mods” ever will…
Much of the gear also has seemed to get like all or at most archeological finds get deemed ceremonial but my untrained scientific mind saw basic Survival gear and some raw material…
Back to my blizzard I cant belive this we have a 3 day window and thats it no hanging around no waiting for good weather and absolutely no way of going with just the basic Otzi gear and clothes the first call was the boots. I would not be able to wear the straight up Otzi copies I had worked so hard on
As we geared up I was getting pretty discouraged that we would never get out of the parking lot…
I know the people back then would of layed up and not moved in a blizzard
We moved on after some last minute changes of boots and gaitor as well as down bag and jacket stuffed in the goathide pack in this switching I left my water bottle.
The bladder I had in the pack was the back up and buried so the good Man TJ let me use one of his extras hasty start all my check list and pre climb list soaked and runny the plan is not going as planned…everyting right as close as I could get to the Bear Hat,the flint knife,the unfinished bow and arrows all the bits dual purpose to be used on the climb a life boat plan of where to go and what to eat how to use all the bits for shelter all the tasks,make fire carry coal the offering at the altitude of the find in Otzal Alps
The flag for the Summit the people that supported the whole dream… the people
All that and more, and though Ive had the Summit twice this third dream may not happen
That might be the Most amazing thing about Mountains
More on this after I get some pics uo of some more recent scrambles
Got a cool last assignment today the property was gonna have a S’more session at one of the fire pits and needed some sticks.They had some one footers thats way to short for Mallow roasting…with the use of Musk-oxen mind pwer I suggested I went and Got some Propper Sticks(Waved hand) My Boss said Hey why don’t you go and fetch some proper sticks…I said That’s a grand Idea…
And mounted my trusty EZGO!
Weather Freezy, sleety,I soaked from the days work
WSK Beck Check
The thought I was going out of the normal AO was invigorating…
Got to one of the lakes and did a quick check of the area…
Found a stove part and a Trident Pitch fork…One less thing More on that later…
I gather the good straight’ns and after a little 90* scrape with the Beck all little knots and nubs removed I used a cheap stainless rapala bait knife I carry to sharpen the points actual since I usedthe Beck all day on some pretty nasty woods and hadn’t had a chance to clean’er up…
I used Red Bud suckers for some and the Larger were willow with a couple of tip arrangements…they should work fine for the guest It was quick work but I will be doing more Im sure soon.one of the little perks of the on coming summer as well(Musk-Oxen mind power has administered a sleeper thought of -ghosty voice- how about a singing cowboy,camfire presentation, naturalist, survival instructor dude…with a beard at the fire for the guest…More on that as well soon lol
Heres the way I left them for the Rec People to find tomorrow…The gust are gonna realy like the Hiking sticks as well lol more on that later
The old foreground UNSAT…
Willow De-LUX and budget model Redbud Version .01
Enjoy your Mallows and S’Mores folks
Your pal the Yodel’n Woodsman
I have not posted her in Quite awhile been on the Go! and heres some of the spots
A Dream in the works
Years ago, I came up with something I would like to do when I Turn 50 I am about a Year out and I have mentioned it many times here
Here it is I intend to climb Mount Whitney the Year of My 50th Birthday in Otzi styled Gear
I will make most of the Equipment/clothing and build in essential safety and assemble a small team I have contacted a few people that would have interest and am looking for ideas on the Documentation
Some thoughts would be collage film or doco class??? But have no idea on where to look…It may just be whatever cams we/ I can get…
I think this would happen in the spring to beat the crowds and I will have to look into all the permits soon as the spots fill fast The peak season is august but I want some snowfields
I climbed the Mountain twice and this will be the third once with buddys in California and the Second as a Guide with two SERE Specialist as a Continuation training
This would be a less rushed go taking advantage of several camps on the way up as always there my be a point where it is called but that’s how it works.
The gear will be a fun project and as mentioned I will keep it authentic but not blow off safety
I saw a re enactment of a science group re trace the routes of the Voyagers of old they made the canoes paddles clothing and flotation was added to vest and some containers to pad the risk of what they were doing
It will be done in all respects to the Man who lost his life so many years ago and other than that there is no real reason other than submersing in the Adventure of a time long past
I am in the Process of acquiring skins and scraps and to be honest My budget is Zero at this point and is still just paper and in my grape as far as the plan
Food will be traditional as possible as well as the carry methods but again I WILL have a “Life boat” plan
Whitney is not the Most technical Mountain but its is a place dear to my Heart and being the Highest point in the Contiguous USA its not to scoffed
At this point I am Sharing this thought I will add here any gear I have started or any ideas on the changes I will make such as fire kit and alternate choices Such as I may use flint and steel as opposed to pyrites quarts and fungus
It will not be a exact reenactment but I will keep as true to the time as possible and use what I have as far as Material
Anyway there it is God willing and the Crick don’t rise that’s what I want to do I hope to see this snowball grow and when it stops I will have a report on this Adventure
Just the pics
and of course still knocking out classic educational non zombie BS tactowizbang knifesturbator edge geometry string bracelet will save your life but true to life Survival and Bushcraft mini epics
See ya soon
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,900 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.