|Tehipite Dome from Windy Ridge.|
On day 4 we got an early start and began contouring north toward Windy Ridge. It was easier than I expected to route find through the sparse forest. I was mostly eager to climb the granite passes and ridges, but the early walk through the forest was peaceful and reminded me of the many fall trips I enjoyed as a kid in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
Soon we were following Windy Ridge and enjoying some amazing panoramic views. We could see all the way to Tehipite Dome to the west, Goddard Canyon and the surrounding peaks to the north and LeConte Canyon and the Palisades to the east.
|Looking north to Goddard Canyon.|
|Northeast to LeConte Canyon and the Palisades. Lake 10,236 below was inviting but we had to keep going. This is one of many remote lakes I want to revisit later.|
At the top of Windy Ridge there is a beautiful plateau with a small tarn and plenty of good camping spots. . . and amazing views. We took a break to enjoy the views, but it was time to keep moving.
Our next goal was White Pass. From Gray Pass the view of the route is clear, but we couldn't yet see White Pass. After studying the maps all winter we were both familiar with the next step. We decided to follow the use trail down to the South Fork Cartridge Creek and follow it upstream for a while before contouring up toward White Pass.
|Our route from Gray Pass down to the South Fork Cartridge Creek and up toward White Pass.|
|The South Fork Cartridge Creek.|
|The last push to White Pass.|
|Looking back to the west from near the top of White Pass.|
I wasn't fully acclimatized and the climb up to White Pass seemed like more of a struggle than I would have expected. It usually takes three days for me to get fully acclimated and this was really only our second day at high altitude.
Once over White Pass the route to Red Pass was straight forward. After less than a mile we were at the top and looking down toward Lake Basin and Marion Lake.
|Dan heading east from Red Pass toward Marion Lake.|
|The notch that leads to Marion Lake.|
|Use 'trail' down to Marion Lake.|
|Marion Lake. The red arrow is the correct notch down from Red Pass (or at least the one that we took).|
|Marion LeConte memorial.|
We spent the rest of the day at Marion Lake. There are many good camping spots along the east shoreline, but we had the entire lake to ourselves. Dan took a swim while I continued to stretch and roll out my left leg. We setup camp and had dinner while the sun set. The end of another beautiful day on the high route.
|The Cirque Crest from Marion Lake.|
|SHR ~ Day 4. 6.6 miles.|