a backcountry climb in Kings Canyon Karl, Robert, Jim and I decide to take in a more adventurous climb. We decide on Charlotte Dome - one of the Sierra's classic 100 climbs (according to the book of the same name). I drove down to Kings Canyon Park a little early (being without a job has its advantages) and use the time to secure the backcountry permits and a campsite, and I take a few photos with my newly-acquired medium format camera too. Once we're all assembled, we head up the trail and spend the better part of a day hiking into the campsite that will serve as our base. We set up camp (mostly bivvy sacs), cook up some dinner and go to sleep. We're up early the next morning as the climb dictates a lot of approach time. Unfortunately, the approach takes way too much time and we don't achieve the true base of the climb until way too late. But, we start up anyway. The 4th class start is difficult (to say the least) and does not bode well for the rest of the day. After a few pitches, which are going way too slowly, we make the painful decision - it's time to retreat. We re-group (since we were climbing as two pair), set up a communal anchor, and start our rappel. After several rappels (leaving plenty of gear behind - though we try to place cheaper pro!) we get back to the base of the climb only to have to deal with the hike back to the camp. We're beat by the time we return and after a quick meal we all pass out - only to be awaken by a bear rummaging through Jim's sack for a Fig Newton wrapper that he forgot about! We scare the bear away and fall back asleep. Sunday is spent hiking back out to the highlight of the weekend - jumping off of Muir rock into the icy cold river!