John Muir Trail Thru Hike: Day Nine

Rae Lakes to Tyndall Creek: 19.5 Miles

Sept. 20th, 2011.

Today was a big day, I wanted to make it over Glen Pass and Forester Pass so I hit the trail by 6:30. The water in Rae Lake was perfectly flat and the view of the Painted Lady was crystal clear. I crossed the outlet of the lake and headed up the switchbacks toward Glen Pass.

Morning on Rae Lakes.
Soon I was at the first plateau on the way up the pass. There were a few beautiful alpine lakes on the right and I could see the trail along the north side of the pass, carved into the mountain. The views on the way up were amazing.

View from Glen Pass.

Video on the way up Glen Pass.

After taking a quick break at the top I headed down toward the tarn on the south side.

Switchbacks on the south side of Glen Pass.
Eventually I descended to Charlotte Lake and started to see groups of people camping along the trail. There are several trail junctions in this mostly flat dusty area and I had read that it was easy to get disoriented here. I was surprised to see one group that was camped right next to the trail with music blasting and some laundry drying on top of a trail sign, covering the sign. After days in the pristine wilderness it was disheartening to see such a lack of common courtesy. Was I becoming a trail snob? Probably, but it really didn't matter, . . . soon I was back in nature.

I made it through the many trail junctions and down the switchbacks to lower Vidette Meadow. I was making good time and before long I was back out of the trees and at the base of Forester Pass. I was chasing the afternoon storm clouds up the pass, but fortunately there was no rain.

Looking back towards Vidette Meadow on the way to Forester Pass. 
The trail on the way to Forester Pass.

Almost at the top of Forester Pass. Junction Peak in the background.

The view north from Forester Pass, looking back from where I started. 

The view south from Forester Pass, looking south toward Mt. Whitney.

Forester Pass (13,200 feet).

The trail on the south side of Forester Pass.
Video looking down the cliff on the south side of Forester Pass.

The trail through the huge flat area below the pass was another amazing plateau, a welcome change after climbing Forester.

Looking back at Forester Pass. 
There are beautiful lakes just below Diamond Mesa where I had planned on camping, but I just kept going while feeling great at the end of the day.

I hiked well into the evening while looking for a spot to camp, but I just didn't want to stop. I knew if I stopped I would actually feel the soreness in my legs. I was ok if I just kept moving. Eventually I made it to a designated camp area (with bear boxes) by Tyndall Creek (just before the Shepherd Pass junction). I was hiking by headlamp and a nice couple helped me find a place to camp.

I setup camp and made dinner in the dark. It was a great day, having hiked over Glen Pass and Forester Pass. I slept like a baby.

Click for full size. 

Click for full size.

No comments:

Post a Comment