This is the passage to Ramparts via Rachel Lake/Rampart Ridge.
It snowed all weekend in the Ramparts and there are lots and lots of bears, be prepared!
I got to Rachel Lake a sweaty mess, the shot of the shirt in the tree means nothing if you dont know it was soaking wet, or that the Queers is one of the best punk outfits of all time.
Once at Rachel I was surrounded by scrotals of all type so I decided to leave...a wise decision, unkown at the time of course. I made the half mile murder hike up to Rampart Ridge and settled in for a view, only to be driven out by rain. Across the ridge and into the valley, I made passage to Ramparts with Rick the ranger, and the second we arrived, the snow began blowing big time!
I hunkered down across the lake in a bowl just big enough to fit uber-tent and once anchor was fully dropped I set about exploring into the gale.
Ran into Rick again, he was out sniffing around for fresh fires (campfires). We hung out for 30 or 40 minutes shooting the shit, really nice guy. The coolest people I ever meet are out on the trail.
We talked about the bear that had been seen in the area not 10 hours before and we talked about the weather....about how all my buddies were at the bar just then, picking up chics...missing out on this raw land, missing out on this good life.
Parting ways, I went back to camp and watched all hell break loose in the skies so I hunkered down in my tent and dozed the afternoon away, waking up occasionally to sweet-talk my flask...
Around dusk I watched a party come in and set camp, they were loud but the wind was louder so I didnt mind, frankly it was nice knowing if I died in the night somebody would be close by to identify the body, half eaten of course.
All night the wind raged, the snow blew and the rain smacked.........I gotta tell you about uber tent: I was toasty warm all night long! Im still in awe of this tent, go out and get it everybody, its the real deal.
Woke up in the morning, walked down to bear bag and pulled her down went back and pulled stakes and was out the door, damn was it cold! I stopped 1/4 way down Rampart Ridge for 20 minutes of tea and pics......excellent choice for many reasons: First was the view, then was the hot tea, but best of all was at that very moment there was a bear marauding the campground below and I wasnt there to be part of it. I guess he was in the very spot where I was originally gonna drop anchor, next to the loud guys with the folding chairs and pinata bearbags 4 feet off the ground, next to the stuffed trash bags.
Some people dont get it. If your gonna hang a bag, then be a pro about it. Dont hang it 4 feet off the ground. Dont hang it in camp unless its really damn high and on branches strong enough to support it, and nothing else.
I descended the ridge and went into camp looking to have a quick coffee with Rick but he already split so I kept eagle/nervous eye out for irritable bears who had just been run outta camp and I hit the trail. Made alot of noise going down and did my best to keep from thinking about ANthony Hopins in the film where the bear gets a taste of man blood and sets out to kill everybody....cant remember the name right now but you know what im talking about.
The forest enjoyed every John Denver/Ramones tune I could think of, not the best way to wake up for sure.
Made it to the truck in fair time, glad I had left early for the weather. It looked bad up there when I got to the truck, lots of people on the trail on the way down, so lots of stops to b.s.
Probly my last solo hike of the year so boys: get the hell off your barstools and lets go already!