We step out of the water taxi and onto the small wood boat dock near the old Boyscout Camp at the top of Upper Echo Lake. Our two 50lb backpacks hit the dock with a thud that reverberates in to splashes against the boat as we try to unload ourselves and our gear, as well as help our fellow passengers off the boat, most of them just day-tripping around the lake.
Off the dock, we load up and say goodbye to our temporary taxi-friends and push passed the site of the formerly fallen Scout Camp, now demolished and all traces it was ever there gone for good… except in memory. We find the trailhead to Tamarack lake and push up the steep hill. Within moments my lungs are already feeling the lack of oxygen at our current altitude of 7575 ft. And even though we spent the night before acclimating at the little Echo Chalet cabin we rented, it wasn’t good enough.
After 20 minutes of huffing and puffing up the meandering alpine trail, we step off for a moment onto a giant granite slab, pull off our packs, and regroup ourselves for the bigger climb. We pull out our Summit+ herbal vape, pre loaded with some sativa, and we take a few big puffs to re-motivate ourselves and expand our lung power. The Summit+ by Vapium was made for this. Built like something from an REI catalog, it fits perfect with camping gear: rugged outdoor waterproof casing, and a climbing clamp to latch it to anything. Plus pipe hits can be brutal at this altitude, and the less fire and coals in the forest the better. An herbal vape keeps it safe.
We push on with much more enthusiasm and force as we head high-king towards the summit, and begin our week well in the wilds of the woods.
(Now only if the Summit+ had a solar charger so we could charge it outdoors, then it would be practically perfect. Wait, they do…? Perfect.)