AUGUST CAMP WAS IN THE HI SIERRAS SUMMER OF ‘07

 

August Camp 2007 has completed. 

                            Weeks: 7/14 - 7/21; 7/21 - 7/28; 7/28 - 8/4; 8/4 - 8/11

 

                            Click the following links for Camper Photos  

                                       Jurgen Luwald Week 4 Photos

                                       Wayne Foot Site Exploration Photos

 

 

AMC's oldest tradition, August Camp, set up its base camp at Holiday Campground, in the Owens River Valley of the Sierra Nevadas. The site is in the Inyo National Forest, off route 395, just south of Yosemite, at a cool 7500ft elevation.

The beauty and size of the mountain range are unparalled and easily exceeds the size of the entire European Alps. Picturesque alpine lakes, peaceful streams, lush meadows, colorful wildflowers, cascading waterfalls, deep canyons, immense glacial cirques and lofty mountain passes surround the hiker. The range increases in elevation from 8,000 feet in the north to 14,491 feet at the summit of Mt. Whitney. An ancient bristle cone pine forest is across the valley.

August Camp, an intimate tent village for 64 campers, offers one or two week options, plentiful home cooked meals, nightly campfires, 5 hikes daily for all levels, several overnights, canoeing and great camaraderie.

2007 August Camp operated in partnership with and under permit from the Inyo National Forest.

Camp Facilities:

The camp furnishes the basics: sleeping tents (12x12 foot Eureka wall tents that are large enough to stand and walk around in, but do not have a floor or mosquito netting; (participants are encouraged to provide some sort of mosquito protection ), two cots per tent, water buckets and wash basins. Campers should bring their own pillow, sleeping bag and thermal pad, "sun shower," clothing and personal items (including camp chair, musical instruments or art/painting supplies, if desired).  Shower stalls are provided, for using one’s "sun shower."  A hot shower feels great after a day of hiking.  "Tillies" (the toilets) are either of the composting variety or "porta-potties," depending on the site. There is no electricity at camp. An emergency 800 number is checked for messages daily by the staff, but there is no telephone at camp, and the use of cell phones in camp is discouraged.

 

Typical View of Camp

Food:

August Camp is famous for its food: both its bounty and its taste. Multi-course hot breakfasts and suppers are served in the dining tent. Campers prepare their own trail lunches each morning from a buffet of goodies. We aim for a healthy, well-balanced diet, but there are no special accommodations for individual dietary requests. In the past vegetarians have found ample food to meet their needs. Cooking is done by the cook and "croo" in a well-equipped kitchen, with gas stoves/ovens. The kitchen’s refrigerator is for the use of the cooking staff only. Campers can bring their own coolers, if desired. Drinking water is provided.

 

"Croo" busily prepares a delicious meal for hungry campers

2007 August Camp Recreational Activities Program:

Your hike leaders are hard at work planning for this year’s recreational activities at the 2007 August Camp. Camp is located at Tom’s Place in the Owen’s Valley in the Eastern Sierra, a major recreational area with excellent access to hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities. The Sierra is one of the premier places to hike in America, with trails along lush meadows, views of saw tooth ridges and peaks soaring to 14,000 feet, sheer granite walls, and picturesque lakes and streams. Day hikes are “A” (strenuous) “B” (moderate) and “C” ( leisurly) and 25 hikes in each category have been identified. “A” hikes are typically 8-15 miles in length, and 2000-3500 feet elevation gain. “B” hikes are 5-10 miles, and 1000-2500 feet, while “C” hikes are 2-5 miles, and less than 1000 feet of gain. Hikes are led by experienced leaders, and guests choose daily which hike they do. Trails are usually easy to negotiate - no wet roots, and little scrambling over rocks as is so common on trails of the Northeast. Trailheads are within 60-70 miles driving distance of camp and include trails in the Inyo National forest, Yosemite National Park and the White Mountains (site of the ancient bristlecone pine forest which contains the oldest living plants on earth.)

See list of Potential Day hikes 2007 Potential Hike Menu   and suggested guidebooks and maps to purchase August Camp 2007 Reading List. 

Overnight trips are also being planned. During the first two week session of camp one “car camping” overnight, a weekly “easy backpack”, and one “challenging backpack” are planned. A similar program is planned for the second two week session. Car camping, which does not require back packing into a site, will have destinations 100 or more miles from camp, and several are being considered. “Easy backpacking” trips will require carrying your gear to a primative campsite, with the elevation gain and distance to the campsite will be modest, less than 1000 feet, and 2 miles. Getting away from the trailheads, even a few miles, will open up a whole different world. The “challenging backpack” will be open to experienced hikers who establish their qualifications to the satisfaction of the Head Hike Leader. This will probably take the form of a “super A” qualification hike, as well as documentation of prior experience at altitude. We are applying for permits to have one group each week of six guests and two leaders climb Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 as the “challenging backpack” hike, although we expect to only offer this trip once during the first two weeks. Permits to climb Whitney are awarded by the Forest Service on lottery basis, and competition for available slots is fierce. Should we not succeed in obtaining permits to climb Whitney, another equally challenging and rewarding trip will be offered. 

Other activities within striking distance of camp will also be offered. Under consideration are trail biking trips in the Mammoth Lake or Mono Lake areas, a flat water kayak or canoe trip on Mono Lake (see below) and visits to local points of interest such as the Eastern California Museum in Independence. This museum has an extensive photo collection on Manzanar one of the largest world war II internment camps and also a special exhibit on Soviet gulags. There are numerous other opportunities including a preserved ghost town from the silver mining era, and numerous talks presented by the National Forest Service. 

      WATER SPORTS IN THE HI SIERRAS 

Our camp is located near a variety of lakes and rivers, Mono Lake, Mammoth Lake, Crowley Lake, Owens River,  offering a wonderful variety of opportunities for paddling and experiencing nature.

Mono Lake is an oasis in the dry transition zone between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Great Basin Desert. It is a vital habitat for millions of migratory and nesting birds representing over 300 species.  Mono Lake is an unique  micro ecosystem, consisting of a salty alkaline inland sea home to brine shrimp, alkali flies and the birds that depend on them.  Particularly noteworthy are the tufa towers on the shores on Mono Lake.  This is not tofu, as in bean curd, but rather common limestone formed in an uncommon manner.  The tufa formations grew underwater thru a combination of calcium and carbonates, some to heights of over thirty feet.  The reason they are seen around the lake is because the lake level fell dramatically after Los Angeles began diverting Mono Lake's tributary streams in 1941 to meet the growing water demands of the L.A. area.

When island nesting sites became peninsulas vulnerable to mammalian and reptilian predation and both air and water quality began to deteriorate, people began to notice and take action.  A Mono Lake Committee was formed in 1978 and led eventually to the involvement of many other non-profits and both state and federal agencies (the U.S. Forest Service is responsible for the Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area).  After a long history of court cases, decisions in 1994 limited L.A. water diversions and began the restoration of Mono Lake and its tributary streams and surrounding habitat. Strict monitoring and increased rain in recent years are contributing to a rise in the water level, reduced salinity, and slow return of cottonwood-willow riparian forests.

The kayak paddle on Mono Lake will be best a guided affair with an expert naturalist.  The outing will also include a stop at the very educational and attractive USFS Visitors Center and could also include an ice cream and tourism stop in Lee Vining, gateway to both Mono Lake and the east side of Yosemite NP.

The other lakes are typical mountain lakes with cold, clear water and largely forested shorelines.  Our outings will be unguided and involve picking up rental boasts and transporting them to nearby lakes for a paddle and shore lunch.  The Owens River also offers a possible 5-10 mile float on a relatively small and meandering stream.  Mono Lake is not particularly attractive for swimming owing to the high salinity; however, one may float about.  The other lakes and the river will provide welcome opportunities for swimming and a respite from the hiking routine.

      Extra Fees for Equipment Rental / Guides.

Last Updated 4/11/2010