Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Day 50, Muir Pass

Daily mileage: 22.2
Mile 827.8-850

Oh my god, best nights sleep ever. If any one else saw our campsite they would have laughed, but it was perfect. I was super tired, the ground was the perfect slant, and we got to fall asleep to the sound of the river. It wasn't just me either, apparently it was amazing for everyone. Good times, and I didn't even have to wear my gloves to pack up in the morning. Is it kind of ridiculous that 36 degrees felt warm to me this morning? Such a good start to a day.
Walking along the river through a sweet canyon, lots of meadows and forest. Only a few downed trees and then it was climbing. The trail winding up through Leconte Canyon, through boulder fields along the edge of the cliff with the roaring river by its side and mountains looming all around.

Once the trail hit the top of the canyon things really started to get interesting. You zone out during just one snowy patch and suddenly you may or may not have misplaced the trail. Ever tried to find a trail of rocks when you are surrounding by rocks? Yeah it takes a bit of work. It seems to be a theme these last few days but I'm not getting much better at it. My reward for being off trail was running into a coyote. Pretty darn cool as far as I'm concerned.

This pass had more water and snow than any of the others so far. So amazing. Pretty early on during one of the steam crossings a rock moved and my feet got wet, plus the trail liked to pretend it was a creek today so dry shoes weren't in the cards for me.

Find the trail, oh wait it's underwater...

Frozen lakes

The view from the top

Where we are going

The pass itself with my lovely hiker trash lounging in front of the stone hut.

Heading down

Going down these passes is turning out to be harder than going up them. Between scree and snow you constantly lose the trail and post hole on the snowy bits. Makes for slow going, and as much rock hopping as possible to avoid all the wet. Even though it's pretty hopeless, at least if you're as challenged as me. The cousins manage pretty well but Caveman and I tend to give up and just slosh through things.
But man are the views good.

The goal was to get out of Evolution Basin and to Evolution Creek. That way we could cross tonight and avoid being cold and wet first thing in the morning.
Down we went, through McClure's Meadow and on to Evolution Creek, the first creek crossing where you actually got wet. Apparently during high snow years it can be as bad as chest high, lucky us it was just lower calf height. Honestly the mosquitoes were more annoying than the river crossing. And now to bed.

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