Local Scouts Take The High
• The tallest mountain in California is no match for the Shark Bait Girl Scout Troop.
Six members of the Shark Bait Girl Scout Troop took a nine-day, 52.3 mile backpacking trip in late July in the Sierras that included a 3.8 mile hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney.
The girls, Adelaide Grenier, Camille Randolph, Catherine Channell, Francesca Villain, Lauren Klingaman and Leah Kunkee, are part of a legacy Girl Scout troop consisting of 6th to 12th graders.
As a legacy group, each year seniors graduate and leave the troop while new sixth graders are welcomed and the cycle continues. Currently, the troop has about 125 members.
Originally, the girls were planning to take the trip during the summer of 2017, but due to weather conditions, they decided to try again this summer.
Renee Grenier, Adelaide’s mother, accompanied the girls on their trip. Renee has been on 13 other backpacking trips with Shark Bait and has hiked more than 200 miles with them.
“Backpacking is not for everyone, but I enjoy it,” Grenier said. “I am happy to provide girls the opportunity to give backpacking a try. It is hard at times, but very rewarding. I am thrilled to have lead some amazing young women on this, and many other, backpacking adventures!”
On day one, the girls drove to the Kings Canyon Visitors Center and gathered their hiking permits as well as permission to camp overnight at the Big Meadow Campground.
The next day, they started their hike over Marvin Pass and Kanawyer Gap, before heading towards their campsite at Sugarloaf Creek. From there, they continued on to a campsite near Roaring River. The elevation steadily increased to 10,000 feet as they went up Cloud Canyon and camped beside a granite outcropping called Whaleback.
On day five, the girls hiked Colby Pass, which is at an elevation of 12,000 feet. That day, they camped at Gallats Lake. They followed the Kern-Kaweah River downhill into Kern Canyon and arrived at the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails.
On day seven, they traveled up and down trails through foxtail pine forests, which is unique to Sequoia National Park. The next day they started their journey to the summit of Mt. Whitney. Finally, on their last day, they descended from Outpost Camp to Whitney Portal and they completed their trip.
“This trip was challenging but extremely rewarding, as we were constantly going uphill and downhill,” Adelaide Grenier said. “The mountains were beautiful, and the meadows looked like something out of a fantasy novel.”
Adelaide has been involved with Girl Scouts for 10 years and has been backpacking for five years.
“From this experience, I learned that I need to always remember to be patient.” Adelaide said. “We were all getting a little tired and short-tempered by the end of the trip, but it was better for everyone to be patient and work together. By proving that we can do such an ambitious and lengthy backpacking trip, I hope that other Girl Scouts will follow our example and show an interest in backpacking as well, or at least give it a try. I want to see more girls on these trails!”