Emigrant 1987-89
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Emigrant in the 80s

Kennedy Lake 1987
MilesDaysTotal ElevationFun Facts
15.133,294 ftFirst time out
Well It all started in 1986 after a camping/fishing trip with my buddy George and Gandalf, a fish hungry Alaskan Malamute, to Kennedy Meadows. As we explored the area, specifically upper Kennedy Meadows, George looked towards the high country, turned around and asked, 'what's up there?" As I had taken one trip into the Emigrant in my high school years with my Dad, Colin, Paul and my school friend Fred, I replied with total confidence, "some gorgeous country" and that was all it took to start these many years of exploring and friendship. Our first trip was a short weekend in early May, and as novices, well unprepared for cold nights and life removed from car camping. The snow and cold of Friday, transitioned to a glorious Saturday & Sunday that proves a central core of the wilderness experience: If you do not like the weather, just wait an hour or so!

We survived and learned a ton of lessons, most importantly, better have a good sleeping bag! Within a month we are at Tri-City Sporting Goods picking out the latest and greatest North Face 'warm' sleeping bags. Never did we imagine that this would become 30+ years of trekking the back country and exploring this great wide world.

As these are the early years, I was not in the habit of documenting our trials and tribulations, so no extensive read out of what we had for dinner and how many miles we actually travelled. Just highlights and memories that I can recall. (Will ask George to fill in the blanks). Cheers and enjoy.
Kennedy Lake 1988
MilesDaysTotal ElevationFun Facts
15.133,294 ftSeason opener
All we could talk about after our first trip in 1987 was how to keep the pace going and how many trips we could do in a year? We settled into a routine in the early years to run up to Kennedy Lake in May on a 'get in shape' trip and take it from there. For 1988 there were three trips, two into the backcountry and one to Alaska on a fishing trip along the Little Susitna (future addition).
Lewis Lakes 1988
MilesDaysTotal ElevationFun Facts
16.568,992 ftCaught in hail storm exploring Lewis Lakes
The most memorable part of the backcountry trips was while we were up in the Lewis Lakes area on a beautiful summer day, getting caught in a hail storm. I had hiked to the upper lake while George fished the middle. With a commanding view at Upper Lewis, it could spy a storm rolling in and quickly descended to let George know. George had found a great fishing spot on a rock ledge, the only problem being he could not climb back up the slick granite rock face! Into the lake he went, dried off and we started a sprint down the mountain to our campsite. As this was just our second year, we learned another valuable lesson. Do not day hike in just your t-shirt, be ready for that shift in weather. Anyways, as we sprinted from cover to cover as the hailstorm swirled all around us, one time pinned down as it felt the hail was coming at us from 360 degrees, we finally made it to camp and discovered the third valuable lesson. Plan your tent site to keep it dry and not in the path of a wash. Needless to say, next major purchase was a real tent, not the one from the 5 and Dime.
Kennedy Lake 1989
MilesDaysTotal ElevationFun Facts
15.133,294 ftOur season opener
Year 3 1989: Three trips, two into Emigrant and another in Alaska (Bulchinta Lake to be added later). We started with a Kennedy Lake warm up in May and a late season trip into Louse Canyon entering via Bell Meadows.
Louse Canyon & Rosasco Lake 1989
MilesDaysTotal ElevationFun Facts
22.1 4 6,502 ftFour seasons
This was a memorable trip as we experienced all 4 seasons within 3 days. Super warm to start at Bell Meadows, as the weather started to cool down the rain came, snow at night, rain on the way out and finally back to fall conditions as we arrived at the trailhead! Biggest surprise was a bear roaming around our campsite at nite, sniffing at the tent door and leaving a big footprint in the snow just outside our vestibule for an early morning wake up. One lesson we did not need to learn, hang your food in bear country, as we thwarted the bruin attested by all the deep footprints right below the hang. A record we have kept to this day (fingers crossed for the future). On the way in we came across a hiker with just the clothes on his back, filtered some water for him as he told us of a bear attacking his campsite as he fled in the middle of the night. When he returned in the morning, the tent was shredded and his pack devoid of anything edible. He gave us vague description of where he was, but it was until after the visit, did we discover his campsite maybe 200 yards away! Checkout our August 2011 trip for the best bear tale so far.
May our paths & errands meet

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