Monday, March 31, 2014

Travel Post: Camping in The Sierras Part 1

Last weekend thanks to my job at The NorthFace I was given an opportunity to go to the Sierras/Nevada borderline to live our company motto: "Never Stop Exploring". 

I had many amazing adventures and things to share from my trip I couldn't put it into 1 post. Enjoy the amazing pictures that do NO justice to how it looked live. 

A small group of us had a chance to spend four days and three nights camping out around Virginia Lake and Mono Lake county in California. For those that know me you know I am not a fan of the cold weather but thanks to my buddies Darcy and Jenn I was convinced that this trip would be an awesome experience! I am glad I listened to them.

We packed up Darcy's Suburu and headed to 5-6 hours of driving to get there. The beautiful scenery of nature was breath taking. Anyone who lives in California is lucky to have such scenery just hours away.

Day 1
We made it up just in time before sundown and greeted by Jim Zellers, The NorthFace's athlete representative. We we were the last group arriving so we added layers for the chilly 30 something degrees to keep warm. We loaded our backs with our backpacks and our feet with snowshoes for a 15 minutes hike to our campsite. Putting on my snowshoes for the very first time felt strange and walking in them felt funny. It only took a couple of minutes to adapt to the new grounds and began to sweat! 

As soon as we got to camp we began to make our tent. Our tent was the biggest of our group next to everyone else's. The temperatures had dropped significally so as darkness came so did the extra layers of clothes. I couldn't help to just look up the sky and be mesmerize by the beauty of the glowing stars in the sky. Thanks to the warm fire pit it helped me to stay up longer starring at the stars without shivering.

The first night our temperatures hit 15 degrees and though my sleeping bag was made to withstand zero degree temperatures I was still somewhat cold! That night we all had only minutes of sleep but we had made it into to day two.

Day 2
Our talented Chef we called our "Combat Chef" feed us delicious hearty meal in preparation for active day we had ahead of us. Three different groups split up with Northface athletes joining different groups. One group was going to higher elevation for snowboarding and skiing. While others were doing snowshoeing. 

This was my first time doing snowshoeing and loved it!! It was easy to do and a great workout on my legs and behind. So what is snowshoeing? (Click on link "snowshoeing" to learn more). We walked thru frozen Viriginia lake and up the mountains. I kept a big smile on my face and took mental shots because I made the mistake not to bring my camera with me.

Standing on a frozen lake!!

Eventually we made it up to rocks on top of one of the mountain we hiked to rest and have lunch. Been in the top of mountain brought me clear mind and just sense of happiness. We all took that time to dry up or air out our feet from the sweating.

Just how we got up we had to get down. My knees felt week as I looked downhill. Darcy had to remind me to just take one step at a time and not to look too far downhill. Thanks Darcy! Our athletes Emily and Kim who joined our group were great leaders. They reminded us that if our snowshoes slid just to allow it to happen because eventually it will stop since we have control to stop it. I took a deep breath and slowly I went downhill with minimals slips. Once I got comfortable it wasn't bad! 

My group taking a rest by the water fall. Here we took a break to grab water from the waterfall. 

As soon as I reached out camp, I settled in and took a much needed nap. By now our tent had soaked in the sun's rays. Coming in that tent reminded me for a minute that I was back home. 

As the sky got darker so did the lower temperatures. As we finished dinner with a glass of red wine we felt sure that this evening would be a better night sleep...atleast so we thought! 
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