Trip Report
School's not out just yet...
Friday June 13, 2014 10:14am
Elementary school "graduation" is a a big deal these days. A three-hour ceremony, custom T-shirts, speeches by students. This is only the fifth grade.

But we are certainly proud of our big/little guy:
Credit: Dave Kos

Classroom time is out, but there is still learnin' to do. Dad and the new graduate are heading to the mountains.

First stop is a layover in the Alabama Hills:

We learn about the cowboys that once passed through:

All that arithmetic is finally good for something. Figuring out that you just beat dad:

It was 100 degrees in Lone Pine that day, but cool enough at night:

Breakfast on the road:

On to Bishop and some stream fishing:


Getting ready for the backcountry. Tackle selection is critical:

The trailhead at South Lake:

The trail:

The destination. Treasure Lakes:

Afternoon storm:

Bright clear morning:

Treasure Lake is at 10600 feet. I was concerned about the elevation but we had camped at 9K feet the night before without issue. Ethan felt fine on the trail and did a great job carrying the backpack to the lake. But the next morning he was nauseous and vomiting:

We waited a few hours but he still did not feel better. No headache, but he could not hold down anything, even water. We had planned to stay two more nights but I was concerned about dehydration and decided to head down that afternoon. It was three miles back to the trailhead - Ethan stayed tough the whole way.

We'll be back!

  Trip Report Views: 670
Dave Kos
About the Author
Dave Kos is a social climber from Temecula.

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Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:18am PT

Great pictures too.

Sorry your buddy got sick. I assume he is OK now.


Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:23am PT
What a great adventure for a kid. That's going to stay with him for the rest of his life. Congrats to you both.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:25am PT
Nice work, Dad.

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:32am PT
Kudos! Really good place to go fishing!!
Timid TopRope

Social climber
the land of Pale Ale
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:34am PT
Really nice. Thanks for the sweet share.

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:42am PT
Even with altitude sickness, Ethan is a fortunate fifth grade graduate to get such a trip! Thanks for that marvelous TR, Dave.


Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Jun 13, 2014 - 10:49am PT
Way to be a great Dad!

  Jun 13, 2014 - 11:50am PT
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab or In What Time Zone Am I?
  Jun 13, 2014 - 11:53am PT
Oh that is just so fun! Treasure Lake area is where I often back packed with my boy when he was younger. Just a perfect distance and beautiful scenery!
Your guy is such a perfect age...still a young in' but old enough to do so many fun things with.
Sorry about the illness...hopefully he'll be able to move beyond it eventually.
Have a great summer with him...lots of fun with that toughie!

T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  Jun 13, 2014 - 12:00pm PT
Family TR's always rock!
Jon Beck

Trad climber
  Jun 13, 2014 - 12:10pm PT
Awesome trip Dave, Great memories there. Was it the altitude that got Ethan sick? any other symptoms? intestinal trauma?

I was thinking about taking Raymond to Cottonwood lakes, but Treasure lakes looks better for his first backpack, a little flatter. Maybe we will acclimatize a little at elevation?
Dave Kos

Social climber
Author's Reply  Jun 13, 2014 - 12:58pm PT
I'm not 100% sure it was AMS - I haven't seen enough examples to be sure. He was completely fine after a day and night at 9K feet and the camp at the lake was only 1600 feet higher. He had no headache and the vomiting seemed more like a stomach bug, especially since even the smallest bit of water would trigger it. He vomited again about an hour after we got down to the valley - it was one of those situations where there seemed to be more coming out than had gone in. But he did recover about two hours after descending, and his normally huge appetite was back soon enough.

SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab or In What Time Zone Am I?
  Jun 13, 2014 - 01:01pm PT
more like a stomach bug
Do you think he could have gotten some tainted water? When my son was younger (6-7 years old) and we would backpack he would often get ill, also. I could only trace it back to the water. Although I was carefully filtering it I'm wondering if their young bodies haven't built up enough natural resistance to some of the buggies that can even work through a filter. Just an opinion on my part.


  Jun 13, 2014 - 02:41pm PT
Props to Ethan for movin' up in school, fishin' skillz, and humpin' loads up and down, even when under the weather.

Oh, and nice bomber hat!

And props to Dad, for being a good one.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
  Jun 13, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
But he did recover about two hours after descending, and his normally huge appetite was back soon enough.

Sounds like your ordinary "McDonald's withdrawal syndrome". Next time take along a couple of Supersized Big Macs for emergency purposes.
Meanwhile tell the kid to quit whining or you'll have him carry your load as well.
This kid's already been over-pampered with the graduation award

Seriously, good job. Your kid will remember this for the rest of his life.

  Jun 13, 2014 - 03:49pm PT
Careful on using rocks as a back stop due to ricochet risk.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 13, 2014 - 04:24pm PT
Awesome Father's Day TR!!!!

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Jun 13, 2014 - 04:26pm PT
Superior Trip Report!

Awesomeness descends upon you........

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Jun 13, 2014 - 05:03pm PT
Nice trip...

My Grand Pa.. Lefty, gave me the gift of backpacking, fishing at a young age.

Good to see you doing the same.

Good habits last a lifetime.

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Jun 13, 2014 - 05:13pm PT
RAD! that looks like a fun adventure!

Don't let that kid brake his ankle on his second day of summer! it sucks!!!

have a fun 6th grade and a better 7-12!!!



Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  Jun 13, 2014 - 05:59pm PT
It doesn't get any better. An adventure you both won't forget. Way to make it happen when so many dads just don't. Keep em coming,


Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
  Jun 13, 2014 - 06:33pm PT
Good job Dad! I hope people emulate you.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Jun 13, 2014 - 08:23pm PT
Great report! Re altitude problems. An Idaho friend that grew up at 5,200 Ft., but had mostly lived at sea-leval since, did a winter Sierra ski trip, and at an over-night camp around 9,000 Ft. developed similar symptoms, then got quite ill.

He needed a helicopter evac. and since then he has had altitude related problems if he overnights above 8,000 Ft. or so.

It appears altitude sickness can affect people that have also camped at similar or higher altitudes without problems.
Flip Flop

Earth Planet, Universe
  Jun 13, 2014 - 07:00pm PT
Solid work pop. Cute kid.

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jun 13, 2014 - 07:26pm PT
What a fantastic bonding experience. Sorry about the sick ess

Trad climber
'cross the great divide
  Jun 13, 2014 - 08:18pm PT
Great TR and adventure. My daughter just graduated from 5th grade also, and we're staring down the "middle years". Yikes!
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