feather falls backpacking

According to some people, Feather Falls is the sixth highest waterfall in the United States. According to Wikipedia, those people are wrong, and Feather Falls doesn’t even crack the top ten. Regardless of who is right, Feather Falls is a pretty amazing waterfall.

It’s incredibly tall. To get a sense of the size of the waterfall– if you zoom in and look closely at the top of the waterfall, you can barely see a bit of chain link fence and a tiny speck of a person.

Here’s a shot from the top of the waterfall. It’s amazing that you can walk right up to the edge of the fall. Unlike at Yosemite, there is no guard rail here. It is pretty easy to slip and fall over the edge.

There’s a pretty nice vista point built on top of a rock pile. From there you can see the waterfall way off to the right, and the beautiful valley through which the water flows down into Lake Oroville off to the left.

Originally this was planned to be a snow camping trip up near Loch Leven Lakes. But a couple of weeks ago we decided to switch it to a backpacking trip instead. Dan and I invited a lot of people to the trip, but in the end only Victor, one of the usual backpacking buddies made it. Which was too bad, the scenery was pretty beautiful, and the hike was pretty short and easy, at least as far as backpacking trips go.

The good thing about these easy short trips is that it lets me try out new gear. Over the last year or so I’ve been slowly investing in smaller and lighter gear. This is a new tent, it’s pretty cool in that it weighs in at under two pounds, and it packs down to about the size of a football. But like any ultra light gear, it has its compromises– I found that it doesn’t breathe well, so I woke up somewhat wet from condensation, and it requires extra rope to tie out the sides to keep the fabric from drooping down into my head and feet.

Near our campsite there were what seemed to be millions of ladybugs. According to Wikipedia, they stop here during winter in the middle of their migration. I didn’t even know ladybugs migrate… So anyways, all in all this was a short and sweet and also informative trip, and a good prelude to 2012’s hiking season. I’m looking forward to what this year will bring.

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