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I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner
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Thursday morning I was picked up from work by some coworkers to head up to the High Peaks! We stayed at the Cascade Inn for the night and had the room booked for the duration as a back up and to come back to the night before we left for a shower and a good night sleep.

Friday morning at 7 am we departed from the Garden on our trip in a misty rain with the temperature 60 I believe . I do not remember exact times of when we got where but we had a 2 mph average going all the way Slant Rock not including our long breaks at John Brooks Lodge and Bushnell falls. When we got to John Brooks Lodge we took advantage of the pack scale they had. My pack was the second lightest at a total weight of 28 Pounds. The main reason I was able to keep it so light was that I carried a 32 gatorade in my hand and left my camel back empty. I knew that once I got to JBL I would be able to fill up my water and then again wherever we decided to set up camp. The heaviest pack in our group weighed 35 pounds and the lightest was 25 pounds and this was just for an overnight.

Once we got to Bushnell falls we stopped at leanto # 1 to discuss if we would push on to Slant rock or stop there to reduce total number of pack carrying miles. While there I cooked this steak 100_4789.jpg . (I will give steak cooking details at end of report) We decided to push on to Slant Rock and at that point I had pulled a muscle in my groin. Not sure what one it is but its the one that hurts when I raise my left leg. I also ended up rolling both ankles and twisting one of them as well (wear the right boots! I know I will from now on).

When we got to Slant Rock we dropped our packs and looked for where we were going to set up camp. The leanto was a no go for me since I was going to use my hammock and I couldn't set up there. We ended up taking the 2nd camp site on the trail going towards Haystack about 150 yards or so from slant rock. We set up camp and then went back to slant rock to cook dinner and fill camelbaks. I ended up eating another 10 ounces of steak (like in picture about each piece was 5 ounces of uncooked steak) and a spaghetti and meatball Mountain House meal (was pretty good). After that we went back to camp and around 5:30ish decided to pretty much go to bed since it was still raining and by now it was 45 degrees out and we were wet and tired.

We woke up after 6 am and I slept in a hammock. I had a Jacks are better nest underquilt and a regular poncho liner for inside with me. I wore a fleece sweater to bed as well. It probably got down to low 40's or upper 30's and I was chilled during the night but not freezing. I do need to look into something better for warmth for later.

When we all got up we made sure we had our water and started our trip up to Haystack which was only about 2 miles away from where we were camped. Here are a few photos along to the way. First picture shows the trail we just came up if looking straight out. Second photo actually shows the trail we just came up by angling camera down.
100_4807.jpg 100_4808.jpg

Below is a snap shot of the ascent of Little Haystack after coming down off of previous ridge.
100_4812.jpg

Finally here is photo from top of little haystack.
100_4815.jpg

The winds were probably at least 40 mph on top and we were getting soaked while being in cloud and I was not wearing gloves and my hands started to hurt within 2 minutes or less of being in the wind. We looked at the time and noticed we had gone a lot slower then we should of and when we looked at the next section going off of Little haystack to eventually go up Haystack itself we saw it was very steep and we could not see the entire decent as it was obstructed by clouds! We made the decision to turn back even though we were so close as some raised concerns of getting down that side safely and we were cutting our time pretty close so we turned around which was a tough decision to make again.

We got back to camp around noon and ate lunch and packed up and left by 1:15 pm. and made it out about an hour before dark.

Sucks we didn't quit make it but we all made it back out safe and thats what really matters.

Now for the steak cooking!

I ended up using a MSR Pocket Rocket type knock off found here Amazon.com: Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove Burner with Piezo Ignition 3.9oz: Sports & Outdoors .

I also used a camping aluminum pan and thanks to Camper4lyfe I had a copper plate as a heat diffuser. The measurements for the plate were approx 5" diameter, between .125 and .25" thick and weight in at 15.125 ounces. I placed some olive oil in the pan and heated it up while I seasoned the uncooked steak with salt and crushed peppercorn pepper that I had premixed together in a bag. Once the olive oil was heated up I placed seasoned side of steak in oil and then seasoned the side not being cooked. After a couple minutes I flipped the steaks and cooked it for a couple more minutes then I took it off the copper plate and drained the oil and put back on the copper plate and took the photo shown earlier.

The steak cooked evenly and perfectly done (IMO) with even cooking and pink center that was moist and so tender that it melted in my mouth! I really enjoyed the steak and the copper plate diffused the heat perfectly and if using a pocket type gas stove IMO the plate is worth carrying if you actually want to cook food with it besides boiling water.
 

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Sounds great. I really have to try out this camping thing.
 

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It sucks that you pulled a muscle, twisted both ankles, and got rained out! You can't seem to catch a break on that mountain!

At least you ate well! :)
 
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