Granite Lakes, Alpine Wilderness, Solo // MYOG 13.3oz Quilt // 37* Low

The frantic rush of creating a ton of new gear combined with the ability to get to this trailhead in 45 minutes had me rushing out the door one random Wednesday evening.  I mean, come on, I had to test my new 13.3oz climashield apex quilt.  

So I arrived for a quick in and out close to home, knowing I’d be snow free and probably people free as well.  

Granite Lakes Trail Map

I hiked into Granite Lakes. (2)
Some really easy hiking, a nice gradual incline with well maintained trail.

For some reason I felt like fasting most of the day and hiking hard without much in my stomach.  For a short burst like this, I felt great.  I cannot yet produce huge miles on little or no food though.  Working on getting used to that feeling of hiking hard on low food, subjectively.  The more I can anticipate harsh environmental and mental conditions, the better.  It’s all training in one way or another, if you decide it is.

I hiked alone and had the tail completely to myself the whole hike in and out. (1)
The basin was damp and misty. Clouds rolled in as I dried off on some granite boulders and ate some food.

I was pleased, although a little cold already.  I relaxed and ate a sandwich and looked around me.  

Looking up toward Dirty Harry’s Peak, I thought, “dang, I bet I could probably get out and over that”.  I looked at my trail map and mused.  The forest was dense with brush and as I would later find out, conquering the insanity that was this initial planning, there was massive amounts of Devil’s Club and thorny (gooseberry?).  


At this point, I was just happy to be out on a work day, the lake all to myself, quiet and yet surrounded by activity and life.  A forest bath on a weekday, what a treat.
Packed up and heading out with wet clothing on my pack. Wouldn’t do this when bushwhacking!

I headed back up trail to find water and a flat part of the trail to sleep on.  

Time to test out all this new MYOG gear!!

I setup my warmer, wind-resistant myog bivy first. (8)

Then I setup my 0.54 DCF cat cut tarp.

That night, things got cold.  Yikes.

37* Low at sunrise

I woke up early and cleaned up camp, made some coffee and watched a true cloud roll in.  Time to get going!

My quilt was coooooold!  Not warm enough for 37* in my bivy with the clothing I had.  But I was safe.  Comfort rating tested!!! 45*.

I’m still using this setup, though, and believe I can get into the low 30s with some additional equipment –> various ‘worn’ down or apex insulating layers (totaling under 6oz for at least an additional 12* of warmth).  I’m also psyched because one of them can be worn and hiked in (4oz).   More on that to come 🙂

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