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Boy Scouts of America

jpl logoTroop 509

Est. 1952                         La Cañada Flintridge, CA             jpltroop509.org

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Past High Adventure Outings


Mt. Whitney 2017

Mt. Whitney 2017

l-r: Mr. Mark Swain, Jack A., Forrest S., Mr. Tom Andrews, Max F. (not shown: Stefan M. & Mr. Greg Markarian, who also summited)

Aug. 10-12, 2017

Of the 7 scouts and 5 adults who attempted to summit Mt. Whitney (14,508'), 4 scouts and 3 adults made it.

One car left a day early and camped at Whitney Portal, 8,375', to aclimate to the altitude and get an early start hiking. The other cars left La Canada at 6:30 am and drove 3.5 hours, 220 miles, to Whitney Portal, stopping at the visitor center near Lone Pine to pick up the overnight permits we had secured in the spring in the annual permit lottery. Everyone hiked 6 miles on the Mt. Whitney Trail up to the barren and windy Trail Camp, 12,000', and pitched tents and cooked freeze-dried dinners.

During the night, one of the scouts experienced significant altitude sickness and was unable to continue. The next morning he and the others in his car hiked back down to Whitney Portal and drove home. The other four scouts and three adults, with daypacks, hiked 5 miles to the summit of Mt. Whitney, then returned to Trail Camp. Because of the previous winter's high snowfall, the 99 switchbacks had only recently become passable and there were still snow patches between Trail Crest and the summit. One scout and one adult camped a second night at Trail Camp, but the other three scouts and two adults hiked down to Outpost Camp for its more pleasant meadow and waterfall. The next morning we all hiked back to Whitney Portal and drove home. The total distance was 11 miles up and 11 miles down.

The cost was $50 ($17 for permit, $33 for gas), plus whatever each person spent on food. The trip was organized by Mr. Haxton.


Philmont 2017

Philmont 2017

front l-r: Stephan B., Gino G., Jack O., ranger Ethan Moss, Jonathan S., crew leader Max F., Mrs. Libby Shiner

back l-r: Mr. Mircea Badescu, Mr. Tom Andrews, Jack A., Forrest S., lead advisor Mr. Mark Swain, Mr. George Olson

Jun. 10-25, 2017

We left on the train at 7 pm from Union Station, and 23 hours later arrived one hour late at 7 pm in Raton, NM. The train seats were wide with lots of leg room and pull-out leg rests for sleeping. The scouts spent much of the time playing cards in the observation car. A Venturing crew from La Crescenta was on the train with us.

At Raton a Philmont bus picked us up and drove us 45 miles to Philmont's base camp at elevation 6,600'. We spent the night in platform tents, then the next morning a ranger was assigned to our crew. We spent the rest of the day picking up tents, equipment and food and making other preparations. We also toured Villa Philmonte. We ate in the cafeteria and spent another night in platform tents.

The next morning a Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at Six Mile Gate. We were on itinerary no. 33, which totaled 86 miles over over 11 days, starting in north country and ending by hiking into base camp via Tooth of Time (in reality, we hiked about 120 miles). The ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Anasazi, Horse Canyon, Sioux, Pueblano, Maxwell (2 nights), Black Jacks, Harlan, Cimarroncito and Upper Clarks Fork. We picked up food at Ponil, Baldy Town and Ute Gulch. We visited Indian Writings, Dan Beard, Miranda, Head of Dean, Hunting Lodge and Clarks Fork. We summited 12,441' Baldy Mountain (on Father's Day), Hart Peak and Tooth of Time. We hiked for two days with a burro we named Churro. Our activities included rock climbing, spar pole climbing, horseback riding, shotgun shooting, black powder rifle shooting, spear throwing, campfire show, T.rex track, petroglyphs and challenge activities. Our conservation project was trail construction near Harlan.

We had hot, dry weather the entire trek, with the exception of a hail storm at Harlan and some lightning.

After a pizza feast upon our return to base camp, we spent our final night in a platform tent, then the next morning a Philmont bus took us back to Raton for an 11 am train, and we arrived back at Union Station three hours late at 11 am the next day.

The La Canada Valley Sun wrote about the trip HERE.

The cost was $1,225 ($895 to Philmont, $249 for the train and bus and $81 for the crew shirt, maps, fuel, patches and miscellaneous). The trip was organized by Mr. Haxton.


Northern Tier 2016

Northern Tier 2016

Juno

l-r: Mr. Tom Andrews, crew leader Zach N., Lucas O., Eric H., Forrest S., Jack A., lead advisor Mrs. Gayle Hagegard, Mr. Mark Swain, interpreter Ben Rutherford

Northern Tier 2016

Cassini

l-r: crew leader Josh P., Andre D.S., Mr. David Haxton, Corwin H., Miles H., lead advisor Mr. Cory Hill, Dr. Martin Kast, Andre G-C, interpreter Josh Marks

Aug. 3-12, 2016

We flew from Burbank to Minneapolis at 8 am on Southwest Airlines. Two charter vans with a trailer picked us up at the airport and drove us four and a half hours, 250 miles, to Biwabik, MN, where we spent the night in our sleeping bags in a hostel. The next morning the vans drove us to Soudan underground iron mine where we toured the mine and its physics lab, then the vans delivered us at 1 pm to Northern Tier near Ely, MN.

We spent 8 nights at Northern Tier, the first and last at base camp at Moose Lake, and the other 6 nights camping at a different lake every night. Each crew consisted of 3 canoes carrying 5 scouts, 3 adults and a Northern Tier interpreter (guide). The two crews followed the same route in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but in opposite directions, and never saw each other. We traveled a total of 101 miles through 43 lakes with 42 portages and 4 walked rapids. Some of the lakes were on the international boundary between the U.S. and Canada, and a couple of the portages were on Canadian soil. The outing was two weeks after a big wind storm, making several portages difficult to cross because of the fallen trees. We paid extra for the lighter 45-lb Kevlar canoes, but they still seemed heavy. Those who fished caught walleye and smallmouth bass, but the fishing wasn't all that great.

One canoe with three adults, while paddling in wind and whitecaps, took on too much water and sank. They started swimming to Canada, the nearest land, but were soon rescued by a water taxi. The crew's gear box, including cooking equipment, ended up on the bottom of the lake and for the rest of the trip the crew ate cold food.

One scout was trying to avoid use of the latrines, so with his dad's permission some dish soap was slipped into his food and it worked.

The morning of the last day the charter vans picked us up at Northern Tier and returned us to the Minneapolis airport, and we arrived in Burbank late that night.

Northern Tier provided the tents, backpacks, cooking equipment and food. Our outing preparation materials are HERE.

The La Canada Valley Sun wrote about the trip HERE.

The cost was $1,287 ($700 to Northern Tier, $335 for plane, $144 for van, $25 for hostel and $83 for crew shirt, mine tour, maps, patches and other expenses). The trip was organized by Mr. Haxton.


Mt. Whitney 2015

Mt. Whitney 2015

l-r: Miles H., Mr. Cory Hill, Mr. Joe Kunkle, Ian K., Jack A., Grant McComb, Osa Adler, Mr. Jerzy Grabiec, Annemarie K., Ms. Elizabeth Olejarczyk, Mr. Tom Andrews, Dr. Ying Lin, Eric Lin, Mr. David Haxton, Mr. Nan Yu, Corwin H.

Jul. 17-19, 2015

All 8 scouts and 8 adults made it to the summit of Mt. Whitney (14,508').

We left La Canada at 6:30 am and drove four hours, 220 miles, to Whitney Portal, stopping at the visitor center near Lone Pine to pick up the overnight permits we had secured in the spring in the annual permit lottery. After lunching on giant hamburgers at Whitney Portal Store (they also make giant pancakes for breakfast), and taking our time to acclimate to the altitude, 8,375', we hiked 6 miles on the Mt. Whitney Trail up to the barren and windy Trail Camp, 12,000', arriving at dusk, and pitched our tents and cooked our freeze-dried dinners.

Early the next morning, with daypacks, we hiked 5 miles to the summit of Mt. Whitney. A thunderstorm was approaching so we had to hurry off the mountain, hiking 5 miles back down to our tents at Trail Camp. At the higher elevations it was cold enough that gloves were needed, and there were snow flurries that didn't stick.

We had to keep all food in bear canisters due to the marmots, and most people found they brought too much food because they had no appetite at altitude. A few got altitude headaches, and one scout vomited but kept going. Human waste had to be packed out in disposal kits distributed at the visitor center.

The next morning we hiked 6 miles back to Whitney Portal, ate another giant hamburger, and drove home, arriving mid-afternoon.

The La Canada Valley Sun wrote about the trip HERE.

The cost was $50 ($17 for permit, $33 for gas), plus whatever each person spent on food. The trip was organized by Mr. Haxton.


Philmont 2015

Philmont 2015

Opportunity

front l-r: Annemarie K., crew leader Ian K., Kacper G., ranger Darren Anderton, Nathan d.M., Andrew O., Owen S.

back l-r: Mrs. Melora Larson (Nash), Zach Nash, Eric Lin, Mr. Jerzy Grabiec, lead advisor Mr. Fred Serricchio, Mr. Joe Kunkle

Philmont 2015

Spirit

front l-r: Brett B., Stefan M., Josh P., Andre G-C., ranger Ben Banavig, Sebastian H., crew leader Miles H., Corwin H.

back l-r: Mr. Cory Hill, Mr. Greg Markarian, lead advisor Mr. Darren Bell, Mr. Etienne Houseknecht, Mr. David Haxton

Jun. 16-Jul. 1, 2015

We left on the train at 6 pm from Union Station, and 22 hours later arrived at 5 pm in Raton, NM. The train seats were wide with lots of leg room and pull-out leg rests for sleeping. The scouts spent much of the time playing cards in the observation car. A troop from Santa Cruz was on the train with us.

At Raton a Philmont bus picked us up and drove us 45 miles to Philmont's base camp at elevation 6,600'. We spent the night in platform tents, then the next morning a ranger was assigned to each crew. The crews spent the rest of the day picking up tents, equipment and food and making other preparations. We also toured Villa Philmonte. We ate in the cafeteria and spent another night in platform tents.

The next morning a Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at Turkey Creek. Both crews were on the same itinerary, no. 16, which totaled 73 miles over 11 days and was a counterclockwise three-quarter loop through Philmont's central and south countries, ending by hiking into base camp via Tooth of Time. The ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Vaca, Deer Lake, Upper Sawmill, Comanche Peak (11,100'), Crooked Creek, Lost Cabin, Beaubien (2 nights), Crater Lake and North Fork Urraca. We picked up food at Ute Gulch and Phillips Junction. We summited Comanche Peak, Mt. Phillips (11,740'), Bonito Peak, Trail Peak and Tooth of Time. Our activities included rock climbing, archery with 3-D targets, spar pole climbing, horseback riding, shotgun shooting, rifle shooting, tepee sauna, plane crash wreckage, fly tying, branding, campfire shows and chuckwagon dinner. Our conservation projects were trail reconstruction at Crater Lake and moving rocks at Beaubien.

Our weather included a lengthy hailstorm that covered the trail and campsite with a thick layer of hail, and a long and hard overnight thunderstorm.

Our final night was in a platform tent at base camp, then the next morning a Philmont bus took us back to Raton for an 11 am train, and we arrived back at Union Station one hour late at 9 am the next day.

The La Canada Valley Sun wrote about the trip HERE.

The cost was $1,168 ($855 to Philmont, $241 for the train and bus and $72 for the crew shirt, maps, fuel, patches and miscellaneous). The trip was organized by Mr. Haxton.


Sea Base 2014

Sea Base 2014

l-r: Billy Adler, Mr. Nigel Angold, Mrs. Suko Gotoh (Adler), Dr. Martin Kast, Dr. Linda Segal, Andrew Gray, Zach Nash, Grant McComb, Harold Kast, Ethan Angold, Sean Segal, Matthew Kim, Grant Haxton, Josh Perkins, Alex McComb, Osa Adler

Jul. 31-Aug. 8, 2014

Crew 1 sailed on Spindrift with captain Joe Wischmeier: crew leader Ethan Angold, Andrew Gray, Harold Kast, Matthew Kim, Zach Nash, Josh Perkins, lead advisor Mr. Nigel Angold, Dr. Martin Kast (expedition CRS 080214A).

Crew 2 sailed on Dutch Love with captain Harman Harkema: Billy Adler, Osa Adler, Grant Haxton, Alex McComb, crew leader Grant McComb, Sean Segal, lead advisor Mrs. Suko Gotoh, Dr. Linda Segal (expedition CRS 080214B).

We met at the Ralphs parking lot at 3:30 am and carpooled to LAX for a 6 am flight on American Airlines to Miami, arriving at 2:15 pm. We had two rental minivans from Budget and drove to Staybridge Suites in Plantation, near Ft. Lauderdale. The rest of the day we spent time on the beach and swam in the hotel pool.

The next day we went to Gator Park for an airboat tour, then to Everglades National Park via the Shark Valley entrance to hike and ride bikes. After a second night in the hotel, we spent the morning at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and then arrived at Sea Base, midway down the Keys and 90 miles from Miami, at 1 pm.

Both crews did the Coral Reef Sailing program, in which the crew spends six nights on a 40' sailboat owned by the boat's captain. We spent a lot of time swimming and snorkeling, and since our last two days on the water was the start of lobster season, we also caught and ate lobsters. One of the nights mid-week was spent in a dormatory at Sea Base, where we had access to small sailboats and other watercraft.

We left Sea Base at 8 am in the rented minivans, made some stops on our way to the Miami airport for our 3:30 pm flight, and arrived back to LAX at 6 pm.

The cost was $1,590 ($900 to Sea Base, $488 for plane, $147 for hotel, ground transportation and non-Sea Base activities, and $25 for the crew shirt). The trip was organized by Mrs. Gotoh.


Philmont 2012

Philmont 2012

Super Crew

front l-r: Grant Haxton, Sean Cutler, Noah Goldstein, ranger, crew leader Harold Kast, Ethan Angold, Daniel Layton

back l-r: Mr. David Haxton, lead advisor Mr. Nigel Angold, Dr. Martin Kast, Ian de Moura, Mr. Joe Layton

Philmont 2012

Monster Crew

front l-r: Max Williams, Alex McComb, Osa Adler, ranger, Jack Lowe, Nick Bell, Mr. William Adler

back l-r: Graham Miketta, crew leader Nathan Spindle, Grant McComb, Nick Mayer, lead advisor Mr. Paul Mayer, Mr. Darren Bell

Aug. 6-18, 2012

We met at the Ralphs parking lot at 4:30 am to carpool to LAX for a 7 am flight on Southwest Airlines to Albuquerque, where a charter bus picked us up and drove us 3.5 hours, 220 miles, to Philmont, arriving around 1:30 pm. A ranger was assigned to each crew, and the crews spent the rest of the day picking up tents, equipment and food and making other preparations. We ate in the cafeteria and spent the night in platform tents.

Super Crew hiked itinerary no. 21, which totaled 73 miles over 11 days and went from Philmont's south to central to north country. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at the Reyado turnaround, and later picked us up at the Ponil turnaround. Our ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Reyado River, Bear Caves, Shaefers Pass, Hunting Lodge, Visto Grande, Head of Dean, Miranda (2 nights), Pueblano and Ponil. We picked up food in Miners Park, Ute Gulch and Baldy Town. We summited Tooth of Time and Baldy Mountain (12,441'). We hiked with two burros for two days. Our activities included rock climbing, spar pole climbing, horseback riding, black powder rifle shooting, revolver shooting, challenge activities, adobe bricks, goat milking, cantina show, mountain ball, campfire shows and chuckwagon dinner. We toured Kit Carson Museum. Our conservation project was clearing and sawing downed trees at Miranda.

Monster Crew hiked itinerary no. 24, which totaled 75 miles over 11 days in a counterclockwise loop in Philmont's north country, and also in Valle Vidal. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at the 6-Mile Gate turnaround, and later picked us up at the Bear Canyon turnaround. Our campsites were Anasazi, Old Camp, Seally Canyon, McCrystal Creek, Dan Beard, Ponil, Pueblano, Miranda (2 nights) and Santa Claus. We picked up food in Ring Place, Ponil and Baldy Town. We summited Baldy Mountain (12,441'). We hiked with two burros for two days. Our activities included spar pole climbing, horseback riding, black powder rifle shooting, revolver shooting, challenge activities, mountain biking, T.rex track, petroglyphs, seach & rescue, catina show, mountain ball, campfire show and chuckwagon dinner. Our conservation project was trail restoration at Seally Canyon.

The two crews crossed once, when camping at Miranda. An adult sprained an ankle and couldn't continue, a scout was taken off trail for a day with stomach issues, and another scout broke his foot on one of the last days.

Back at base camp we toured Villa Philmonte, then spent our final night in a platform tent. The next morning we left Philmont by charter bus and returned to the Albuquerque airport, finally arriving at LAX at 7:30 pm.

The cost was $1,230 ($740 to Philmont, $300 for plane, $150 for bus and $40 for crew shirt, maps, fuel, patches and miscellaneous). The trip was organized by Mr. Mayer.


Mt. Whitney 2011

Mt. Whitney 2011

l-r: Jack Lowe, Mr. Paul Mayer, Connor Ryken, Sean Cutler, Mr. Kevin Lowe, Nick Mayer, Mr. Cory Ryken, Grant Haxton

Aug. 2-5, 2011

All 5 scouts and 3 adults made it to the summit of Mt. Whitney (14,508').

We drove three and a half hours, 205 miles, to Lone Pine where we ate lunch at a restaurant. After lunch we drove to Horseshoe Meadow campground (10,000') and camped there for the night. The next morning we drove to Whitney Portal (8,375') and started hiking on the Mt. Whitney Trail. We hiked 6 miles to Trail Camp (12,000') and spent the night there. Early the next morning we hiked 5 miles to the summit of Mt. Whitney with daypacks, then returned 5 miles to our tents at Trail Camp and spent the night. The next morning we hiked 6 miles back to Whitney Portal and drove home, arriving mid-afternoon. The trip was organized by Mr. Ryken.


Havasupai 2010

Havasupai 2010

l-r: Mr. David Haxton, Mrs. Rebecca Drooks (Shur), Harold Kast, Sean Cutler, Nick Mayer, Keenan Shur, Ty Burnham, Grant Haxton, Tyler Adams, Mr. Paul Mayer, Nick Bell, Mr. Darren Bell, Dr. Walter Burnham, Sean Estes, Dr. Martin Kast, Mr. Marshall Adams

not shown: Aaron Burnham, Miles Haxton, Mr. Chip Cutler

April 3-6, 2010

Havasupai is an Indian Reservation in the Grand Canyon. The Havasupai Tribe issues permits for visitors to hike and camp on their land, which includes spectacular blue-green waterfalls framed by red canyon walls.

On Sat. we drove eight hours, 435 miles, on I-40, Route 66 and Indian Hwy 18 to Hualupai Hilltop on the canyon rim and spent a cold and windy night in the parking lot sleeping in our cars or in tents. On Sun. we hiked 8 miles down switchbacks to the floor of Hualupai Canyon and through that canyon to the tribe's village, Supai, then 2 more miles through Havasu Canyon to the campground, just below Havasu Falls. Some of us paid for mules to carry our gear to the campsite.

On Mon. we swam and played in the travertine pools below Havasu Falls, and hiked a mile futher down the canyon where some of us decended to the bottom of 196'-tall Mooney Falls through caves and steps carved into the nearly vertical canyon wall. On Tue. we hiked 10 miles back to our cars parked on the canyon rim, except one dad who rode on a horse, and two families whose dads were in a hurry to get back to work and took a helicopter to the cars. We then made the long drive back to La Canada, except for one family who overnighted at Laughlin. The trip was organized by Mr. Mayer.


Philmont 2009

Philmont 2009

front l-r: Adam de Lucia, Ryan Wallace, ranger, Adam Wallace, Kevin Kussro

back l-r: lead advisor Mr. Roger Wallace, crew leader Matthew Susank, Kevin O'Toole, Connor Chavarria, Dr Martin O'Toole

Aug. 2-14, 2009

We drove two cars with trailers to Philmont. We hiked itinerary no. 17, which totaled 65 miles over 11 days and was a clockwise loop through Philmont's south and central countries, ending by hiking into base camp via Tooth of Time. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at the Lovers turnaround. Our ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Lovers Leap, Urraca, Crater Lake, Beaubien (2 nights), Crooked Creek, Clear Creek, Thunder Ridge, Cathedral Rock, and Tooth Ridge. We picked up food in Phillips Junction and Ute Gulch. We summited Trail Peak (10,250') and Tooth of Time. Our activities included rock climbing, spar pole climbing, horseback riding, black powder rifle, challenge events, gold mining, mine tour, blacksmithing, Stomp show, campfires and chuckwagon dinner. Our conservation project was at Beaubien. The Crescenta Valley Weekly wrote about the trip HERE. The trip was organized by Mr. Wallace.


Forsee Creek Trail 2009

Forsee Creek Trail 2009

l-r: Dr. Martin O'Toole, Kevin Kussro, Matthew Susank, Kevin O'Toole, Adam de Lucia, Adam Wallace, Ryan Wallace, Mr. Roger Wallace

not shown: Mr. Richard Key

Jul. 18-19, 2009

Forsee Creek Trail is in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area of the San Bernardino Mountains.

Early Sat. we drove 100 miles to the Forsee Creek trailhead, which is east of Redlands traveling on CA-38 past Angelus Oaks and off Jenks Lake Rd. Starting at 9 am when the temperature was nearly 100 degrees, we hiked 7 miles with an elevation gain of 4,400' to Anderson Flat trail camp (10,500'), where the temperature was 75 degrees. Our only water source was a half-mile before the trail camp, at Trail Fork Springs. About half of us experienced symptoms of altitude sickness. After dinner we took a short twilight hike to Anderson Peak (10,840'), then returned and went to bed exhausted. We awoke early Sun. to a golden sunrise and made good time hiking down to the trailhead, arriving at 10:30 am. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Mt. Lowe Snow Camping 2008

Mt. Lowe Snow Camping 2008

l-r: Mr. Roger Wallace, Mr. Donald Cole, Donny Cole, Kevin O'Toole, Matthew Susank, Kevin Kussro, Adam Wallace, Adam de Lucia, Ryan Wallace, Mr. Richard Key

Dec. 29-30, 2008

We were dropped off at the trailhead, on Mt. Wilson Rd. a half-mile up from Red Box. We were unable to find the trail because it was covered in snow from recent snowfalls, so we instead hiked beside the fire road. The icy conditions made it difficult to get a good footing so our progress was slow. One scout suffered a concussion and black eye when he slipped and hit a rock. We called his parents and arranged to meet them on Mt. Wilson Rd. at the Mt. Lowe turnout. After 3 miles we reached the abandoned Nike missle site on top of Mt. Disappointment (5,963'), where we ate lunch and the scouts had a snowball fight. Shortly after, we made a wrong turn on the snow-covered trail and wound up on top of San Gabriel Peak (6,161'). We turned around, descended, and eventually found the right trail to get us to Markham Saddle, where a couple of us escorted the injured scout down the fire road to his parents waiting on Mt. Wilson Rd. From Markham Saddle it was a 2-mile descent to Mt. Lowe trail camp (4,418'), where there was little snow, a letdown since we had looked forward to snow camping. Our total distance for the day was 7 miles, 6 of them in snow. The next morning we awoke to much warmer temperatures, and after a breakfast of eggs, bacon and French toast, we hiked a half-mile to Inspiration Point, where we had a view of the Los Angeles basin out to the Pacific. We then hiked 2 miles down Castle Canyon trail to Echo Mountain, and 3 miles down the Sam Merrill trail to the top of Lake St. in Altadena, where we were picked up. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Philmont 2007

Philmont 2007

front l-r: Timothy Chin, Chase Chavarria, ranger, Joshua Wickersham, crew leader Kevin Kraft

back l-r: Mr. Greg Chin, Brad Blackmon, lead advisor Mr. Ken Chafin, Chris Chafin, Paul Lee

Jul. 23-Aug. 4, 2007

We flew to Albuquerque and took a charter bus to Philmont. We hiked itinerary no. 22, which totaled 73 miles over 11 days and was a clockwise loop through Philmont's south and central countries, ending by hiking into base camp via Tooth of Time. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at the Lovers turnaround. Our ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Lovers Leap, Crater Lake, Black Mountain, Lookout Meadow, Buck Creek, Mt. Phillips, Upper Sawmill, Cimarroncito (2 nights) and Tooth Ridge. We picked up food in Miners Park, Phillips Junction and Ute Gulch. We summited Mt. Phillips (11,650') and Tooth of Time. Our activities included rock climbing, spar pole climbing, rifle shooting, black powder rifle, blacksmithing, fly tying, campfires and chuckwagon dinner. Our conservation project was at Hunting Lodge. The trip was organized by Mr. Chafin.


Golden Trout Wilderness 2006

Golden Trout Wilderness 2006

l-r: Erik Shaw, Paul Lee, Kevin Hoffman, Chase Chavarria, Sean Stathatos, Mr. Steve Stathatos, Bo Sagal, David Bliss, Kevin Kraft, Joshua Wickersham, Mr. David Sagal, Chris Chafin, Mr. Chang Lee, Mr. Ken Chafin, Eric Yun, Mr. Yong Kyu Yun, Mr. Scott Kraft

Aug. 2006

This 33-mile hike in the Golden Trout Wilderness of the Eastern Sierra was a counterclockwise loop from Horseshoe Meadow over New Army Pass and then back via Siberian and Cottonwood passes.

We drove four hours, 230 miles, to Horseshoe Meadow campground (9,940') and spent the night. The next day we hiked 6.5 miles and camped at Long Lake. The third day we hiked 4.5 miles over New Army Pass (12,300') and camped at Lower Soldier Lake. The fourth day we hiked 6 miles and camped at Lower Rock Creek Crossing (9,640'). The fifth day we hiked 7 miles over Siberian Pass (10,990') and camped at Big Whitney Meadow. The sixth day we hiked 4 miles and camped at Chicken Spring Lake. The seventh day we hiked 5 miles over Cottonwood Pass (11,140') and back to Horseshoe Meadow, then drove home. We had good success fishing for golden trout, which is the state fish and native only to this area. The La Canada Valley Sun wrote about the trip HERE. The trip was organized by Mr. Sagal.


Philmont 2004

Philmont 2004

front l-r: William Kim, Chris Chafin, Michael Lee, ranger Angela, Daniel Lee, Paul Chung, John Choi

back l-r: Mr. Ken Broomfield, Charles Crandon, Alex Harstrick, crew leader Alon Atkins, Luke Rhee, lead advisor Mr. Ken Chafin

Philmont 2004

front l-r: Evan Edwards, Philip Hall-Partyka, Keith Male, ranger Mike Byrum, Erik Shaw, Stephen Volk, Matt Upton

back l-r: Mr. Randy Hall, lead advisor Mr. Richard Key, crew leader Evan Key, Chris Sullivan, Lucas Struycken, Mr. Mike Upton

Aug. 11-20, 2004

We flew to Albuquerque and took a charter bus to Philmont. Both crews hiked the same itinerary, totaling 50+ miles over 8 days in a clockwise loop through Philmont's south country, ending by hiking into base camp via Tooth of Time. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at the Lovers turnaround. Our ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Lovers Leap, Urraca, Abreu, Fish Camp, Beaubien, Black Mountain and Shaefers Pass. We picked up food in Phillips Junction. We summited Tooth of Time (9,003'), and one day hiked an extra 6 miles because we missed a switchback and followed a deer trail until we found ourselves at a cliff. Our activities included rock climbing, black powder rifle, blacksmithing, fly tying, challenge events, goat milking, chicken racing, branding, plane crash wreckage, cantina, Mexican dinner and chuckwagon dinner. Our conservation project was clearing the forest for a new trail on Bonito Peak, which we had to hike to twice because we arrived late the first time. We toured the Kit Carson Museum and Villa Philmonte. The trip was organized by Mr. Chafin.


Mt. Whitney 2004

Mt. Whitney 2004

l-r: Mr. Richard Key, Keith Male, Charles Crandon, Sam Wegner, Mattieu Beyssat, Daryl Key, Mr. Russ Sugimura, Evan Key, Matt Upton, Mr. Mike Upton

Jul. 16-18, 2004

7 scouts and 3 adults made it to the summit of Mt. Whitney (14,508').

Fri. afternoon we drove four hours, 230 miles, and spent the night at Horseshoe Meadow campground (10,000'). On Sat. we planned to fish for golden trout in the Cottonwood Lakes but it was raining hard, so we drove down to Lone Pine where it was dry and picked up our trail permit, did some practice hiking, and ate an early high-energy dinner of buffalo burgers. We returned to Horseshoe Meadow campground for a second night, but this time with an early bedtime.

We awoke Sun. at 1 am and drove to the trailhead at Whitney Portal (8,375'). We started hiking on the Mt. Whitney Trail at 3 am using headlamps. We hiked the 11 miles to the summit in 9 hours, arriving at noon. The last few miles were over snow-covered rocks, and on the summit it was 39 degrees. We ate lunch, it started to snow, and we headed back down the mountain, arriving at Whitney Portal at 7:30 pm. We then drove four hours back to La Canada. One scout, Erik Shaw, experienced altitude sickness and at Trail Crest (13,645') he and his dad, Bill, turned back. One of the scouts who summited, Mattieu Beyssat, was a French exchange student living with the Key family. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


San Bernardino Peak 2004

San Bernardino Peak 2004

front l-r: Daniel Lee, William Kim, Michael Lee, Mr. Richard Key, Stephen Volk, Mr. Ken Broomfield

middle l-r: Mr. Ken Chafin, Paul Chung, John Choi, Keith Male, Matt Upton

back l-r: Josh Rhee, Alon Atkins, Evan Key

not shown: Chris Chafin

Jun. 18-20, 2004

The trail to the summit of San Bernardino Peak (10,649') is steady uphill for 8 miles with an elevation gain of 4,700'.

We drove 90 miles to the trailhead in Angelus Oaks, which is east of Redlands on CA-38. The first day we hiked 5 miles to Columbine Camp and spent the night. The next day we hiked 3 miles to the summit, then decended 2 miles to Limber Pine Camp and spent the night. The third day we hiked 6 miles back to the trailhead and drove home. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Klondike Chilkoot Trail 2003

Klondike Chilkoot Trail 2003

l-r: Nick Harstrick, Gates Winkler, Chris Chafin, Sven Haukkson, Mr. Ken Broomfield, Mr. Ken Chafin, Mr. Jay Winkler, Mr. Michael Harstrick, Mr. Ernie Messner, Alex Harstrick, David Messner, Brady Blasco, Daniel Fishman

Aug. 13-19, 2003

We hiked the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail, which goes from Dyea, Alaska, to the headwaters of the Yukon River at Lake Bennett, British Columbia. During the Klondike Gold Rush this was the most popular route to the Yukon. The trail starts in coastal forest, transitions to high alpine, and ends in boreal forest.

We flew from Burbank to Juneau, took a ferry 100 miles through the Inside Passage to Skagway, then rode vans 9 miles to Dyea. That first night we camped near the trailhead at the Dyea campground.

The second day we hiked 7.5 miles in the rain to Canyon City campground and explored the nearby ruins of the abandoned gold rush town. The third day it was again raining, and we hiked 4.3 miles to Sheep Camp and prepared ourselves for the following day, which was going to be our most challenging.

On day four we hiked 8.7 miles with an elevation gain of 2,500' up and over Chilkoot Pass, to Happy Camp, through rain, sleet, wind and fog. The ascent to the pass, starting at Scales, was an icy 30-degree slope that ended with a steep field of boulders called Golden Stairs. Chilkoot Pass is the boundary between the U.S. and Canada. The descent from the pass was equally steep, then we crossed a snow field and traversed the sheer side of Crater Lake. Happy Camp often has severe weather and the name is sarcastic, with a sign in the warming shelter saying, "Happy Camp - where happiness goes to die!"

The fifth day, finally dry, we hiked 5.5 miles to Lindeman City campground and held a polar bear swim competition in Lindeman Lake. On day six we hiked 7 miles to the end of the trail at Bennett.

The day after we started, the Chilkoot Trail was closed at Dyea for three days due to the rain, flooding and forecasted more rain. We had brought with us plenty of fire starter, which made us a big hit with other backpackers due to our ability to make a fire with wet wood.

On day seven we took the train from Bennett back to Skagway, and a charter plane back to Juneau, and flew back to Burbank. The trip was organized by Mr. Broomfield.


San Gabriel Mountains Traverse 2003

San Gabriel Mountains Traverse 2003

l-r: Brady Blasco, James Blanton, Daryl Key, Keith Male, Steven Volk, Philip Hall-Partyka, Evan Key, Lucas Struycken, Timothy Chin, Mr. Tom Blanton

not shown: Chris Chafin, Mr. Ken Chafin, Mr. Richard Key

Jul. 19-20, 2003

We crossed the middle of the San Gabriel Mountains going from north to south. Our trailhead was Vincent Gap (6,593'), about 50 miles up Angeles Crest Highway, near Wrightwood. Our plan for the first day. was to follow Vincent Gulch to the Upper East Fork of the San Gabriel River and spend the night at Fish Fork trail camp, a distance of 8 miles. We knew we would be getting wet so we each had two pairs of footwear: hiking boots for land, and water sandals for water. After the first half-mile on rock-strewn dry riverbed, we started hiking in the river with our water sandals as there was no trail. Our progress was slow, the rocks were slippery and it was tiring. Due to our slow pace, a late start, and a little too much playing in the water, we made only 7 miles that day and ended up camping on a ridge above the river, without a fire ring or flat clearings for our tents. The next morning we got an early start and continued hiking in the river, including through the Narrows, the deepest gorge in Southern California, where at one point the east wall soars nearly a mile straight up Iron Mountain. We switched to our hiking boots shortly before crossing the "Bridge to Nowhere" (built in 1936 but the road washed away two years later and was never rebuilt), but soon after switched back to our water sandals and wore them until the end of our hike, at the East Fork trailhead (2,028') at the terminus of East Fork Rd. above Azusa. We had hiked a total of 15 miles, nearly all of them in water. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Jennie Lakes Wilderness 2003

Jennie Lakes Wilderness 2003

l-r: Mr. Daniel Winterhalter, Mrs. Muriel Winterhalter, Mr. Ken Chafin, Chris Chafin, Mrs. Kim Chafin, Dr. Ileana Shaw, Erik Shaw, Daryl Key, Mr. Russ Sugimura, Andy Choi, Tristan Winterhalter, Mr. Richard Key

Jun. 19-22, 2003

Jennie Lakes Wilderness in Sequoia National Forest is a mixture of lakes, meadows and streams in forests of fir and pine. We drove up CA-99 to Visalia, then took CA-198 through Sequoia National Park on our way to Big Meadows campground (7,600'), a total of 5 hours, 250 miles. The next morning we started by fording knee-deep Big Meadows Creek, then hiked through Fox Meadow and Poison Meadow and crossed Stony Creek. We climbed the flanks of Shell Mountain, with a view of Kaweah Divide, and climbed to Poop Out Pass (9,170'). We then decended to Jennie Lake (9,000'), where we spent the night after having hiked 7 miles that day. The next day our goal was Weaver Lake. We first climbed five switchbacks up to Jo Pass (9,410'), with a great view of Mt. Silliman. We then followed the Weaver Lake Trail, which dropped precipitiously into Boulder Creek Canyon, where we forded Boulder Creek several times. After climbing Shell Mountain we arrived at Weaver Lake (8,707') shortly before nightfall, a total of 8 miles that day. The fishing at Weaver Lake was good, with several of us eating rainbow trout for dinner. The next morning we hiked 4 miles back across Fox Meadow and forded Big Meadows Creek to return to our cars, having hiked 19 miles over three days. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Philmont 2002

Philmont 2002

front l-r: Jeff Pih, Kenny Sugimura, Gates Winkler, ranger Travis, Douglas An, Michael Brady, Thomas Lee

back l-r: lead advisor Mr. Russ Sugimura, Brett Shaw, crew leader Sam Wegner, Nick Harstrick, Mr. Will Pih

Philmont 2002

front l-r: David Song, David Kwon, Josh Rhee, ranger Emily Smith, crew leader Daryl Key, Dr. Martin O'Toole, lead advisor Mr. Richard Key

back l-r: Brady Blasco, Chaz Sosa, Adam O'Toole, Brian O'Toole, Justin Yun, Andrew Choi

Aug. 11-20, 2002

We flew to Albuquerque and took a charter bus to Philmont. Both crews hiked the same itinerary, totaling 50+ miles over 8 days in a counterclockwise loop through Philmont's south country. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at the Zastrow turnaround and later picked us up there. Our ranger stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Rayado River, Uracca, Miners Park, Black Mountain, Beaubien, Agua Fria, Crags and Zastrow. We picked up food in Phillips Junction. We summited Black Mountain (10,889'), and when we left our pots at Beaubien some of the scouts went back 6 miles to retrieve them. Our activities included rock climbing, black powder rifle, fly tying, challenge events, horseback riding, mountain biking, archery with 3-D targets, plane crash wreckage, branding, campfire and chuckwagon dinner. Our conservation project was at Fish Camp. We toured the Kit Carson Museum and Villa Philmonte. The trip was organized by Mr. Ken Broomfield, who at the last minute was unable to go.


Mt. Whitney 2002

Mt. Whitney 2002

front l-r: Michael Collins, Daryl Key

back l-r: Mr. Richard Key, Alex Harstrick, Nick Harstrick, Mr. Jay Winkler, Gates Winkler, Jeff Pih, Mr. Michael Harstrick, Andrew Choi, Mr. Will Pih, Brett Shaw, Mr. Bill Shaw

Jul. 19-21, 2002

All 8 scouts and 5 adults made it to the summit of Mt. Whitney (14,508').

Fri. afternoon we drove four hours, 230 miles, and spent the night at Horseshoe Meadow campground (10,000'). Sat. morning we moved our camp to Whitney Portal (8,375') and did some fishing and hiking, then mid-afternoon drove down to Lone Pine and picked up our trail permit and ate a high-energy dinner of buffalo burgers. We returned to Whitney Portal and went to bed at dusk. After a few hours of sleep we awoke Sun. at 2 am and shortly after 3 am started hiking on the Mt. Whitney Trail using headlamps. We hiked the 11 miles to the summit, arriving shortly before noon, took photos and ate lunch, then hiked 11 miles back to Whitney Portal, arriving at 8 pm. We saw a shooting star, we crossed a snowfield near the summit, and at the summit it was 43 degrees and sunny with no wind. We got back to La Canada around midnight. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Havasupai 2001

Havasupai 2001

l-r: Dr. Ileana Shaw, Mr. Sung Choi, Peter Blanton, Jeff Pih, Brett Shaw, David Kwon, Erik Shaw, Daryl Key, Daniel Lee, Mr. Bill Shaw, Chris Toon, Michael Lee, Justin Yun, John Choi, Doug An, Greg Wannier, Kenny Sugimura, Keith Sugimura, Josh Rhee, William Kim, Mr. Geoff Toon, Evan Key, Luke Rhee, Mr. Chang Lee, Mr. Ken Broomfield

not shown: Mrs. Shirley Chung, Mr. Richard Key, Mrs. Leasa Sugimura, Mr. Russ Sugimura

April 8-13, 2001

On Sun. we drove eight hours, 435 miles, to Hualupai Hilltop on the rim of the Grand Canyon and spent a cold, snowy night sleeping in the parking lot. On Mon. we hiked 8 miles down switchbacks to the floor of Hualupai Canyon and through that canyon to the Havasupai Tribe's village, Supai, then 2 more miles through Havasu Canyon to the campground, just below Havasu Falls. Some of us paid for mules to carry our gear to the campsite.

On Tue., Wed. and Thu. we explored Havasu Creek and the many side canyons, we hiked to 196'-high Mooney Falls a mile away, we played volleyball and other games, and we swam and played in the travertine blue-green pools below Havasu and Mooney falls and their red rock walls. The tribe's chief also gave a talk to the troop. Reaching the bottom of Mooney Falls required a scary decent down a nearly vertical canyon wall through caves and steps carved into the rock. On Wed. a group of us attempted to hike the 16-mile round-trip down the canyon to the Colorado River, but only a few made it due to the difficulty of having to hike mostly in the water and overcoming the many small waterfalls and other obstacles. On Fri. we ate an early breakfast and at 7 am started the 10-mile hike back to our cars on the canyon rim, and then made the long drive home. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Philmont 2000

Philmont 2000

front l-r: Andrew Stein, Michael Collins, ranger, David Chew, Kyle Kawakami

back l-r: Mr. Ernie Messner, crew leader David Chafin, David Messner, lead advisor Mr. Ken Chafin

Philmont 2000

front l-r: Timothy Harker, Sven Hauksson, ranger, crew leader Wes Chew, Ian Meadows

back l-r: Mr. Egill Hauksson, Daniel Fishman, Brian Sparks, lead advisor Mr. Ken Broomfield

Philmont 2000

front l-r: crew leader Jonathan Caswell, Robby Whyte, ranger, Michael Caswell, Tyler Bockman

back l-r: lead advisor Mr. Bill Caswell, Peter Blanton, Mark Essen, Hans Ludwig, Andrew O'Toole, Dr. Martin O'Toole

Aug. 11-20, 2000

We flew to Albuquerque and took a charter bus to Philmont. The trip was organized by Mr Chafin.


Buckhorn Snow Camping 2000

Buckhorn Snow Camping 2000

campers were Alon Atkins, Daryl Key, Evan Key, William Kim, Michael Lee, Sam MacKinney, Ian Meadows, Willy Morong, Eric Stone, Mr. Richard Key, Mr. Loren MacKinney, Mr. Paul Meadows, Mr. David Morong, Mr. Kris Smith, Mr. Henry Stone

Feb. 12-13, 2000

Sat. morning we drove 35 miles up Angeles Crest Hwy. to Buckhorn campground (6,625'), not far from the Mt. Waterman ski lift. Road conditions required us to stop at Red Box to put chains on our tires.

Snow was falling as we hiked the half-mile from the cars to the campground. We pulled two sleds loaded with firewood, a Dutch oven and a snow shovel. Snow covered everything, making it difficult to locate the campground, but we finally found a buried picnic table and dug it out enough to use for cooking.

All day heavy snow fell. It was difficult to pitch our tents because as soon as something like a tent pole was laid on the ground, it was quickly covered by snow. Once tents were up, the scouts made a snow cave and went sledding. Dinner was beef stew in sourdough bowls, with a Dutch oven peach cobbler. We went to bed early, as soon as it got dark, to get out of the falling snow.

Temperatures at night dropped to the single digits, and when we awoke Sun. it had stopped snowing but our camp was an icicle. We used hot water to free boots frozen to the ground. After a hot breakfast of oatmeal, we packed up and made our way back to the cars, with difficulty because of the deep snow. The road was icy and snow-covered, so the chains remained on until Red Box. The trip was organized by Mr. Key.


Philmont 1998

Philmont 1998

front l-r: Timothy Wannier, Jon Essen, ranger, Wes Chew, Patrick Rappleye, Paul Cohen

back l-r: adult & 3 scouts from another troop, Daniel Braun, lead advisor Mr. Ken Broomfield

Philmont 1998

front l-r: Nathan Lam, ____, Daniel Brady, ranger, David Chafin, Ian Meadows

back l-r: James Pickett, Andrew Smith, Mr. Ken Chafin, Brian Smith, scout & adult from another troop

Aug. 10-21, 1998

The trip was organized by Mr. Broomfield.


Philmont 1996

Philmont 1996

front l-r: Doug Shepherd, Tristan Nyby, Aaron Walizer, ranger Mike Bell (T509 alumnus), Jon Broomfield, J.J. Hintz, ____

back l-r: Austin Leach, Ben Bahrami, ____, Jon Shirley, Mr. Joe Shepherd, Mr. Ken Broomfield

Aug. 15-22, 1996


Philmont 1991

Philmont 1991

front l-r: Brian Collins, Brandon Bailo, Ryan Levenick, Keith Miller

middle l-r: David Tinkham, Mr. Terry Tinkham, Mr. Alan Harris, ranger, ranger, lead advisor Mr. John Wellman, lead advisor Mr. Andy Collins

back l-r: Adam Bahrami, Ben Wellman, Darrell Tinkham, Chris Levenick, Donny Harris, Ryan Woods, David Harris, Mike Mandell

Aug. 15-22, 1991

We flew to Albuquerque and took a charter bus to Philmont. Both crews hiked the same itinerary, totaling 40+ miles over 6 days in a clockwise loop through Philmont's south and central countries, ending by hiking into base camp via Tooth of Time. A Philmont bus took us to our trailhead at Zastrow turnaround. Our rangers (they called themselves rangerettes) stayed with us the first two days on the trail. Our campsites were Abreu, Fish Camp, Buck Creek, Clear Creek, Cyphers Mine and Clarks Fork. We picked up food in Phillips Junction. We summited Tooth of Time (9,003'). Our activities included blackpowder rifle shooting, blacksmithing, mine tour, fly tying, Stomp show, cantina, campfire, Mexican dinner and chuckwagon dinner. It rained most afternoons, making it a challenge to light a fire. On our second night we heard cat sounds (mountain lion?) throughout the night. A few scouts got the intestinal parasite Giardia. The trip was organized by Mr. Wellman.


Philmont 1982

Philmont 1982

front l-r: scout from another troop, Darren Bell, ranger, 3 scouts from another troop

back l-r: Bradley Craig, Doug Breckinridge, 3 scouts from another troop

Aug. 4-11, 1982

We took the train to Philmont.


Maine 1982

Maine 1982

front l-r: __, __

back l-r: __, Mr. Mike Bell, Darren Bell, __

Jun. 30-Jul. 9, 1982

We flew and rented a car. We saw several moose and got eaten alive by bugs.


Philmont 1981

Philmont 1981

front l-r: Mr. Jack Russell, ranger Mary Vogel, scout from another troop, Mr. Mike Bell

back l-r: Shawn Crowley, Dale Ryken, Darren Bell, Kevin Stanford

Award 1981

Aug. 5-20, 1981

We drove a van to Philmont. On the way back, on Hwy 66 outside Needles after lunch, the van left the road, struck a culvert and erupted in flames. The 70-year-old driver was unconscious and crushed against the steering wheel. The passengers evacuated the vehicle, except for 14-year-old Darren Bell, who first tried to free the driver by pulling on the jammed driver's door from the outside, then by re-entering the vehicle and successfully kicking the door open from the inside. Darren and his dad then pulled the driver from the van and carried him to safety, administered first aid and assisted him for two hours while awaiting an ambulance. The highway was shut down so a CHP plane could land to provide assistance. The five scouts and two adults were taken to Barstow Hospital. The driver had a badly broken leg and multiple facial fractures, Darren's dad had two fractured vertebrae, and the scouts were bruised and battered, including Darren's bloody nose and bloody mouth cut by his braces. All the van's contents were lost in the fire, except for their Philmont medical records which somehow blew to safety from a folder in the center console.

BSA's National Court of Honor later awarded Darren its Honor Medal, for scouts who "demonstrated unusual heroism and skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save life at considerable risk to self." Darren also received letters of commendation from President Reagan and former President Ford.