saddle

 6

 belt buckle
Mt. Whitney Packers of the 1940s - 1970s

All photos courtesy of Stephanie Morgan unless otherwise noted.

See USE NOTICE on Home Page

bar
bar
mule train

Roster of Mt. Whitney Pack Trains Packers

bar
bar

 Charles and Stephanie Morgan

charles morgan
Charles Morgan

charles and stephanie morgan
Charles and Stephanie at the Lake of the Lone Indian during the 1963 Sierra Club High Trip

stephanie morgan
Stephanie Morgan
I have such fond memories of Charles and Stephanie. I cut my teeth as a packer on my very first High Sierra trip with these two folks. Charles was the head packer and Stephanie was the cook on the Hunt Party trip in 1964. This was one of those all expense paid trips where the outfit, Mt. Whitney Pack Trains, provided all of the food, tents, and horses for the guests. There were approximately 15 guests, three packers, 1 cook, and 2 pot boys. Ed Brown and myself (Ray DeLea) were pot boys on this two week Sierra trip. As I recall the trip departed from the old Chrysler and Cook Pack Station at Carroll Creek. Went through Horseshoe Meadows over Cottonwood Pass and down to Big Whitney Meadows. From Big Whitney we traveled to Little Whitney Meadows and backtracked up over Siberian Pass and across the Siberian Outpost down to Middle Rock Creek. From middle Rock Creek the trip went over New Army Pass, past Cottonwood Lakes and Golden Trout Camp back down to the roadend at Carroll Creek.

Besides Charles and Stephanie's great cooking, the thing that stood at the most on this trip was the nearly non-stop rain every day and into the evening. Ed and I went to sleep many a night wet. I found that I had a lot to learn about surviving as a pot boy and employee of Mt. Whitney Pack Trains. Ed, on the other hand, was a seasoned ranch hand who had quite a bit of experience working around stock. I was a green as they came. The only experience I had with stock was watching them on Bonanza, The Rifleman, etc. through the television.

Sierra
bar
bar

charles morgan
Charles Morgan, Eddie Bowman, and Ely (the horse)
1964 at the Second Recess

collecting firewood
Ken Hess gathering firewood.

bar
bar

ed turner
L to R: Ed Turner, Richard Morgan, Charles Morgan, Jerry Gillaspie - 1983


mt whitney area
Charles Morgan below Muir Pass during the 1963
Sierra Club High Trip

bar
bar

60 Years of Friendship - Photos by Ed Turner
ed turner
L/R: Ed Turner, Richard Morgan, Eddie Mike
[Photo courtesy of Ed Turner]

ed turner
L/R: Ed Turner, Richard Morgan, Eddie Mike
[Photo courtesy of Ed Turner]

ed turner
L/R: Ed Turner, Richard Morgan, Eddie Mike
[Photo courtesy of Ed Turner]

ed turner
L/R: Ed Turner, Richard Morgan, Eddie Mike
[Photo courtesy of Ed Turner]


bar
bar
mule train

"The 48th (1953) Sierra Club High Trip" [pdf]


bar
bar

Trail Riders of the Wilderness

trail riders
Trail Riders of the Wilderness at Wright Creek with the Great Western Divide in the background - 1963
Stephanie Morgan rode Ed mule on the far right.


trail riders of the wilderness
Trail Riders of the Wilderness at Wright Creek with the Great Western Divide in the background - 1963

 
The Trip and The Route

The Trail Riders of the Wilderness was the highlight of the summer at Mt. Whitney Pack Trains. It was the last High Sierra trip of the season before heading back to school. Unless there was an unusually heavy snow the previous winter the route was always the same and something everyone always looked forward to. This was an all expense paid trip sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service during which Mt. Whitney Pack Trains provided guests with any and everything they needed, with the exception of their clothes and bedroll. What a trip it was! We always had upwards to 20-25 people on the trip which always made for wrangling fun, since many of the riding horses were provided by Thacher School out of Ojai, CA. Those horses had no experience in the Sierra backcountry and often were rebels with a cause of their own!

Heading out of Carroll Creek we first made camp at Overhaulster Meadow, a short distance from Golden Trout Camp. We then either headed up Cottonwood Creek past Cottonwood Lakes or crossed over the creek and went up past lower and upper South Fork Lakes. The trail then took us past High and Long Lakes and over New Army Pass down to Middle Rock Creek for our second camp. We then packed down Rock Creek, over Guyot Summit and Guyot Flat to a wonderful camp at Lower Crabtree Meadows in the shadow of the western face of Mt. Whitney. From Crabtree Meadows we packed north on the John Muir Trail across Sandy Meadow and Wallace Creek to Wright Lakes were we had a real "High Country Camp" just below Wright Lakes and Mt. Tyndall. Perhaps the most spectacular alpine glow sunsets I have ever seen have been at this campsite. With an unobstructed view of the Great Western Divide and the highest peaks of the Eastern face of the Sierra Nevada, it is without a doubt, a most incredible view, as you can see from the picture above. From Wright Lakes we backtracked down the John Muir Trail to Upper Crabtree Meadows just below Mt. Whitney. The next day had us going up over Trail Crest at 13,600 ft. and down past Consultation and Mirror Lakes to make camp at Outpost Camp. Those guest which wished to go to summit of Mt. Whitney on horseback headed up to the top while we packers went down the pass to set up camp. The last day was an easy jaunt from Outpost Camp past Lone Pine Lake down to the corrals and pack station at Whitney Portals.

The highlight of the Trail Riders Trip was the sumptuous dinner which we all had in Lone Pine the evening after getting out of the mountains. What a time of reminiscing it was, exchanging addresses, making lifelong friends, dancing the evening away with the guests and sleeping in late the following morning. Those are times I shall never forget. Lawyers, teachers, government workers, policemen, private business owners, and homemakers etc., from children in the teenage years to people in their 70s and 80s, the Trail Riders of the Wilderness was always a memorable experience for guests and packers alike.


bar
bar

 
1995 Mt. Whitney Packer's Reunion  

 
Packing & High Sierra Stories  

 
More Mt. Whitney Packers of the 1940s and 1950s
 

Early Lone Pine 

 

Wildflowers of the High Sierra 

 

 One Packers High Sierra Experience


sign
Free Guestbook
Sign Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (MS Word)

Sunhorn
CONTACT the Pigmy Packer  

view
Free Guestbook
View Guestbook

View Old Guest Book Entries
Oct 1999 - Feb 2015 (PDF)


This page was last updated on 25 August 2017