Little Jimmy Hike

Hello Hikers.
    We endured a great experience this weekend.  With a 30% chance of precipitation- we normally proceed on our hikes as planned; since, as our motto states "be prepared" we should be- for all types of weather conditions and changes.  We spend a majority of our time on long term hikes in the High Sierra areas and the weather can turn with a blink of an eye.  We saw this first hand.  Normally we have seen snow on this trail in the past- but this time the snow covered the entire camp as well.  The pictures below show a very pretty setting to set up camp, but this was while the sun was still shining.

                                           

The hike to camp, normally a moderate hike at best, was made more difficult by the snow covering most of the trail.  We utilized the service road instead of the hiking trail (when available) since the footing was more predictable.  We took our time and eventually trudged onwards to our campsites, slowing to safely get by any difficult areas.
Setting up camp was tricky since it would be hard to set stakes properly for our tents; we normally set our stakes into the ground- the snow prevented this- we experimented with new ways to accomplish this- poles, ropes, rocks were used. We had to adapt.
After completing their scout skill assignment of knot tying, the patrols continued on their tasks- fetching water at the nearby spring and then preparing dinner.  This was happening as the sun was disappearing and a few gusts of wind started to appear.  The temperature dropped quickly as the patrols completed their clean up and prepared for a quick pow-wow to discuss the days events.  We had quick meetings and decided to call it an early night- the cold and the tiredness hitting us at the same time.
The night brought rain and eventually snow, complicating most of our much anticipated rest.  We encountered condensation, water leaks and the challenge of very cold weather.  For example, you plan your visits to the bathroom very carefully.  (more lessons)
The morning brought more surprises, our tents were covered with ice and snow, and we had to try to boil water in very cold conditions.  Cold gas canisters don't get the same flow as moderate temperature conditions allow, therefore our stoves didn't heat up as well as normal (another lesson).
Packing up quickly, we wanted to get ourselves out as quickly as possible to get out of the cold temperatures.  We decided to take the service fire road out to the highway and send out the hikers that drove,  to pick up their cars to serve as a relay pick up system.
    Thank you to the COB patrol for setting up the relay vehicle pick up system, Mr. Matsushita, Mrs. Arakawa, Mr. Kuwata, Mr. Yabuta, Dr. Lee, Dr. Watanabe  and the rest of the drivers that got down first. The pick up was very smooth and a welcome site to our scouts and adults who needed a nice warm car to sit in.
We all made it home safely and in one piece.  That is always our intent-to be safe.

    Thank you to Ryan Lee, Scout Hikemaster, for planning this hike (for the second time).  We appreciate your willingness to see the assignment through to its completion.  Thank you to Kurt Kuniyoshi, although he couldn't join us, for being the Adult Hikemaster for the hike.  Thank you for all the expertise and knowledge we received from our alumni Dads that joined us, Dr. Roger Yamashiro, Mr. Jerry Takao, Mr. Keith Shiozaki, Mr. Jim Matsushita, and we had the an alumni eagle join us also, Ryan Shiozaki- you really filled in when we were low on seniors, you provided great guidance to our new, and younger scouts.

    All in all, we learned a lot of lessons on this trip.  We learned about the challenges of cold weather- first hand, the best way to learn.  We now know that we can handle ourselves in cold weather.  Although this hike was not a "normal" first hike for our normal hiking program, the first time hikers, Aydin Kuniyoshi, Trevor Robertson, Kyle Hashiro, and Mrs. Carole Hashiro should be proud of the fact that they completed and met the challenges of this hike.

We teach about the layering system, how important it is to practice and to pack the necessary layers for each type of weather we might encounter.
We teach about the importance of having a dry pair of socks for the next day.  We teach about the importance of keeping your clothes dry and to always wear quick drying materials.  Always pack your ten essentials and be ready to use them.
These lessons all came into play this hike.  Let's continue to learn by our experiences.
Great job to everyone who completed this hike!

Hike on.

Wade Inouye
2012 Hikemaster