Winter Quilt with a Custom Trapezoidal Baffled Footbox.

Winter Quilt with a Custom Trapezoidal Baffled Footbox.

Last year I got tired of sitting out the entire winter then having to struggle to get my 'trail legs' the next summer. I decided to get out and enjoy the backcountry in the winter. . . but the last time I camped in the snow I was a Boyscout and my memories include freezing all night in a canvas A-frame tent.
After hearing about the easy way to the snow via the tram to Mt. San Jacinto I was determined to get out in the winter. I figured that if I could do a few nights in the local mountains I would be ready for a real snowshoe trip in the High Sierra. I would need a much warmer quilt if I wanted to actually stay warm and enjoy the cold winter temperatures.

It was time to make a Winter Quilt with a Custom Trapezoidal Baffled Footbox. 

Shoulder Season in Ionian Basin ~ October 2013

Blackcap Basin - Lake Confusion Pass - Goddard Canyon - Ionian Basin - Finger Col

Storm clouds rolling in above Rainbow Lake

Over the past twenty years my brother Jeff has organized annual backpacking trips in the Sierras for our varied group of lifetime friends. Even as the group has scattered around California and beyond he has found beautiful places for us to meet. A few years ago he scouted out a cross-country route to a secret spot he discovered in the Sierras. . . but the rugged terrain and desire for some dude time meant it was a guys-only trip. 

I will never forget struggling down loose granite slopes in my old boots to this new Sierra destination. As I ran out of water, carried way too much gear and even forgot to bring enough food I realized it was time to rethink my backpacking strategy. Although it was a challenging trip (I ended up loosing several toe nails) that time in the back-country reignited my enthusiasm for exploring the High Sierra. The guys spent most days lounging by the granite pools and waterfalls but I went wandering up the river, always wondering what was beyond the next ridge. 

Fast forward a few years and I was ready to take my own cross country trip far up that same river. . . and beyond.

Heavyweight Ultralight Backpack

After completing the first section of the Sierra High Route last summer I realized it was time to build a much more burly backpack. Since there was nowhere to resupply on these remote trips I needed something that would comfortably hold ten days of food and a bear canister. I also needed a pack that could withstand the beating that comes with scrambling through cross country terrain in the High Sierra. I decided it was time to make my first Heavyweight Ultralight Backpack!

The Heavyweight Ultralight Backpack.