The other day, Greg (who's buttocks you might recognise from this video) suggested we ride to the top of Lord of the Squirrels, have an awful nights sleep, and be down in time(ish) for work the next day. Surprisingly, 11 people were willing to tag along.
Our brave (read: dense) crew headed out the door here at Chromag at about 5:30pm and started the not-so-casual climb from Function up to the Flank. In true Chromag fashion we went out the gate pretty hard and I must admit, as soon as we started the climb I immediately noticed the weight of my bag. However by the time we reached Into The Mystic, I was pleasantly surprised to be acclimating to my pack and bar bag.
Gear ranged from less than what some people would take on a Lost Lake lap, to "a little bit too much". My bag was on the heavier side but I slept pretty well, and I did bring a change of clothes, beer and a speaker. Spare clothes were very welcome after a sunset skinny dip in the lake up top.
Here's what I brought with me, you could get away with less:
- Sleeping bag (-9°C was overkill but it's all I've got)
- Water filter
- Extra water bottle (empty for the climb)
- 1 x Daydreamer
- Spare change of clothes (pants, boxers and long sleeve merino jersey)
- Rain jacket
- Mac and cheese leftovers!
- Titanium Spork!
- Granola bars
- Bluetooth speaker
- Camp pillow
- Head torch
- Ear plugs
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
Here's a little comparison of gear-to-sleep ratio:
Steven essentially brought nothing, and definitely won the body-weight/pack-weight/sleep ratio. At least he remembered his swanky sandals. (He admits if he had brought spare clothes and more food he would have been pretty comfy.)
In short, packing styles varied greatly:
We were incredibly lucky with the weather, it was perfectly dry and not even that cold overnight. In retrospect, I could have taken much less gear and probably been fine without a bivy, but you never quite know what the weather's gonna do.
Pete was playing catch-up. He decided it was a good time to entirely rebuild his Hope brakes just before we left, but he managed to join us at Infinity lake just as the sun set, with a brake cobbled together from several decades worth of parts.
Sensibly, we left it to the last minute to set up camp, and instead, we decided to eat, drink and be merry for a good few hours. We swam in the lake, watched the sun set, and once it had long disappeared behind the endless mountains, we stared up at the sky and spotted satellites and shooting stars.
At about 11:30pm we saw headlights winding up the climbing trail. We thought it might have been Thomas from Coastal Culture succumbing to FOMO, but alas it was a fella on his last lap Everesting Lord of the Squirrels. We thought we were the mad ones...
This prompted the group to start scratching around for a place to lie down. I say "lie down" because not an awful lot of sleeping was done by some.
We setup our assortment of sleeping apparatus, ranging from bivy bags to plastic bags, and settled in to Chapter 11, Quidditch. Stephen Fry's dulcet tones played softly, attempting to send us off to sleep and I can only assume kept the bears away. Or at the very least sent them to sleep as well.
After a mediocre nights sleep, it didn't take long to pack up our minimal gear and burn the 1200m we gained the evening before. We b-lined it straight to Wildwood for eggs benny and managed to get to work for 9:30. All in all, not too late and no one got fired. BCH even made it back to Rocky before elevenses.
What a brilliant little trip. We managed to do it on a school night with very little organisation. I'd encourage you to get out and do something similar, I'd bet you already own enough gear to spend one night under the stars without freezing to death.
Bring some leftovers, and let Stephen Fry send you off to sleep.