Guest Blogger: Backpacking Bishop Pass with friends & Deuter packs
An avid Deuter enthusiast, Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome. Recently, Adam shared one of his adventures with us through the Write for Us section of the Deuter blog. Interested in having your stories featured, submit your content HERE.
Last August I met four childhood friends from San Diego in Bishop, California. In case you’re unaware, Bishop is like the Gateway to Heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. A geological hotspot lying on the San Andreas Fault, what lies beneath the ground is intriguing and unpredictable. If you’re the type who springs for a nice dip in a naturally heated tub, the countless hot springs near Bishop should do you just right.
The terrain in this area (think Mammoth Mountain, June Lake, Mono Lake) offers world-class rock climbing, hiking, biking and, in winter, skiing and snowboarding. To say my friends were pleasantly surprised with the views they woke up to the first morning in the high desert above town would be an understatement. That afternoon, after a couple hours of bouldering at a popular climbing zone called the Buttermilks, we made our way to 10,000’+ in Inyo National Forest.
Looking west toward the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range from the town of Bishop, or from anywhere along Hwy 395, most would assume only dirt and rocks could survive in such harsh, dry places. But drive up Hwy 168 to 9,000’+ elevation and it gets incredibly green in the high canyons, where creeks flow to and from high alpine lakes full of beautiful, yet oblivious and tasty, trout. We did a two-day, three-night, out-and-back trip from South Lake. The water level at South Lake was disconcerting, but from then on we were happy to find plenty of sources to fill our hiking water reservoirs from, cast fishing rods in to, and even send some 30’+ cliff dives into.
I have to give a shout-out to Deuter for supplying the 60+ liter backpacks so my friends from San Diego could carry some extra luxuries and really enjoy themselves out there. They don’t go quite as lightweight as this seasoned backpacker (mind me while I toot my own horn), but they truly impressed me with their abilities to keep moving forward as their bodies fought the altitude change and physical demands before them.
My BBB (Best Backpacking Buddies – cheesy, I know, but we had fun acting less our age) pose on some of the steeper switchbacks of the hike. This is part of the climb over Bishop Pass; we spent our nights at awesome lakes on either side.
I’ve used this Deuter ACT Lite pack on my past three trips and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t have too many features like zippers or pockets I won’t use, but it has just enough to organize my stuff and access what I need in a jiffy. Access it through the top of the main compartment, or through the separate sleeping bag compartment. I do a pretty systematic packing job so I don’t really need side access, and since I never bring ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ I really only need the stretchy outer pocket, the top lid aka brain and the small zip pocket therein where I store keys, wallet, my modified first aid kid for backpacking and other essentials I want to keep separate. And of course the pocket for the water reservoir aka hydration bladder, which subs for heavier, bulkier water bottles and has an easy-pour spout, plus accepts my Katadyn water filter so I’ll never spill while pumping.