Eastern Sierra

Cache of Gold: Riding the Highs and Lows of the Eastern Sierra

Bag du Jour

Force-feeding yourself freeze-dried beef stroganoff at 12,000 feet in the Eastern Sierra is no place you want to be. 

Alex’s silence, his head held in his hands, said it all. Dude was in a bad place. The altitude and a fishless day and too little water and too many miles had messed him up. He was dehydrated, had a splitting headache and felt totally exhausted. Beat down. No wonder the bag dinner wasn’t doing it for him. 

Still, Seth insisted, “You got to eat. It’s the thing that will make you feel better.”

Seth was worried. He’d seen friends struggle up here before. He knew the altitude can take its toll, especially on those of us coming from sea level. This exact scenario was among Seth’s major worries when organizing this trip. The High Sierra is unforgiving, and help is a half-day’s walk away. We were out there. And Alex was showing increasingly ominous signs of altitude sickness…

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