Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kearsage or Bust

This is not a postcard.

You can't walk into a Bishop souvenir shop and buy a picture like this for a couple of bucks.
It has to be earned.
You have to be willing to hump it up 5 miles of steep switchbacks, from the Onion Valley trailhead at 8100 feet above sea level to the Kearsage Pass at 11,700 feet above sea level.

OK, the truth is you could do a Google Image Search and drag a picture like this directly onto your desktop, but my buddy Paul (that's him in the lower left hand corner) would have none of that.

Last year's Kearsage attempt was foiled by inordinate snowfall and the overconsumption of Bacardi rum the night before. This year there was no shortage of Cuba Libre's, but we did have an unusually dry winter, which left the path to the top obstruction-free.

This is not to suggest that it was a cakewalk.
It was not.

My oldest daughter is susceptible to altitude sickness. And at 10, 800 feet she was ready to turn around and go home. Not just back to the Upper Grays Meadow Campground. But back to Culver City, where she could snuggle in her own bed and snapchat with her friends.

But like all Siegels, she is blessed with ungodly determination.

Despite the throbbing headache and a pulse rate in the three digits range, she wiped her brow, downed a Strawberry FruitUp Roll and put one foot in front of the other until the Kearsage Pass became the Kearsage Passed.

It also helped that our intrepid leader Paul, a teacher by trade, is blessed with childlike enthusiasm and superior motivational skills.

If you hadn't guessed I'm very proud of my daughter, as well as my other daughter and my wife, for completing this very strenuous 10 mile hike. It took well over 6 hours and we burned an estimated 3000 calories.

That night we all rewarded ourselves with some well-deserved chocolate cake. I refrained from the dessert and chose a different kind of treat: 750 mg of Vicodin.


Kelly said...

That's an absolute bitch of a pass. I hiked that with an 65lb pack and heaved my guts under the physical strain. I was hiking in supplies to deliver to my uncle who was hiking the entire John Muir Trail and was on his last leg. Needless to say when I delivered the pack, my aunt generously packed canned goods so his last trail meals were unmatched and rewarding. I was pissed. Having hiked much of the Sierras can say that is a grueling, exhausting hike. So glad you made it to the top! Great story and accomplishment you and your kids will share for years to come! Bests!

it'slikedenniswithac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
it'slikedenniswithac said...

Course, I just CTRL-ATL-4'd this bitch and now I have the shot without the exertion. Thanks Rich!