Archive for September, 2010

Evolution Valley – July 2010

September 10th, 2010

During early July of 2010, I went on a three night backpacking trip starting at Florence Lake in the Sierra National Forest. There is a ferry service that will take you to the other side of the lake, where you meet up with a trail heading southeast. This trail passes near the John Muir Trail Ranch (private property catering to paid customers), then intersects the John Muir trail and heads towards Pilute canyon. After crossing the raging San Joaquin river via bridge, we continued a few miles down the trail and set up camp for a first day of 12 miles. The next morning we continued south, followed the JMT up into Evolution Valley and set up camp at McClure meadow. The entire trip was very scenic, but this area was out of this world. On day three we did some day hiking, then trekked back out of Evolution Valley (waist high creek crossing) and descended back into Pilute canyon. Our final day was 14 miles back to the Ferry. The snow line was about 11,000 feet and we only went that high for a few hours on our day hike.

This area of the JMT is well worth the trip. We ran into quite a few PCT through-hikers, as well as a few doing the North-South Lakes loop from the Bishop area. Highly recommend this area.

Blog Entries

Swelling hands

September 10th, 2010

When hiking Half Dome a few years ago, my wife, Sarah, experienced “sausage fingers,”  each of them much fatter and larger than normal.   Maybe some of you have experienced this on the trail.  What’s going on here?

After some research it’s likely she experienced peripheral edema, a swelling caused by lymph fluid pooling in the hands, feet, or face. It’s common among backpackers, often the result of too-tight shoulder straps or standing for long durations. The symptoms typically disappear within hours after a hike. Adjusting her pack to place more weight on the hipbelt, and using trekking poles for better hand circulation could have helped in that situation.

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