Filling the Gap

Garnet Lake to Agnew Meadows (8 miles, +1,100/-2,500 feet). Our last day on trail was super easy and surprisingly pretty.  The main virtue of today’s route for me (other than the burger and beer at its end!) was to see part of the John Muir Trail I had to abandon on an earlier trip where…

Clinch Pass

Lower Twin Island Lake to Garnet Lake (11 miles, +3,200/-3,100 feet). Today was one of those happy accidents.  I have frequently found that Plan Bs end up being better than Plan As, maybe not because they are objectively better, but because they often involve surprise. I had no idea how spectacular the upper basin of…

Whitebark, Garnet, and North Glacier Pass

Forest camp above Ediza Lake to Lower Twin Island Lake (9 miles, +3,300/-3,000 feet). Today was extremely gorgeous!  We basically spent the whole time circumnavigating the highly photogenic Ritter and Banner Peaks and the lakes below them.  I will definitely need to come back to this part of the High Route. To make things even…

Nancy Pass

Devil’s Postpile to forest camp above Ediza Lake (13 miles, +4,700/-2,900 feet). Time for my annual hike with UltraShuffle!  Only this time we added two to our party, MixMaster and UltraShuffle’s son Rainbow T.  We drove up to Mammoth yesterday to acclimatize and then headed off on a section of the Sierra High Route.  Our…

Day 4: Columbine Pass

Grizzly Creek to Needleton (15 miles, +3,500/-5,000 feet). Today was our biggest day yet and we needed to be done by 3pm when we expected the train to arrive in Needleton. And just to make things a little more exciting, the weather forecast called for several inches of snow and 50 mile an hour winds…

Day 3: Sunlight Lake

Sunlight Lake day hike then Sunlight Creek to Grizzly Creek (14 miles +4,800/-4,700 feet). It was calm and very warm last night in our beautiful little Vallecito camp site.  Since we  were just doing a day hike up to Sunlight Lake and back and then had easy miles along the river later on, we slept…

Day 2: Up on the Divide

Highland Mary Lakes to Sunlight Creek (13 miles, +1,700/-4,600 feet). Although we camped on a bit of a slope last night, it was okay.  I only had to scooch back up hill inside my tent a couple of times. The wind also was not as bad as I thought it might be.  I could hear…

Day 1: Highland Mary Lakes

Elk Park to Highland Mary Lakes (10 miles, +4,000/-500 feet). When Ultrashuffle and I finished our High Sierra Trail yo-yo last year we immediately started talking about the next trip.  I love the Sierra and proposed a sequel, but Ultrashuffle was really drawn to the idea of a hike in Colorado.  So we decided to…

Day 6: A Long Day Back

Big Arroyo Junction to Crescent Meadow Trailhead (22.5 miles, +2,200/-4,500 feet). Today was a tale of two hikes.  The first part of the morning was wonderful with a short climb up to Kaweah Gap and then back down to Hamilton Lake to take a lovely swim.  After that it was a long, muggy, and, for…

Day 5: Hot Tub Time Machine

Junction Meadow to Big Arroyo (19.5 miles, +4,000/-2,500 feet). We both slept really well after our big 24 mile day to Whitney and back.  The lower elevation and our lovely campsite on spongey duff by a singing stream also probably helped.  We awoke refreshed and ready to go. The Kern River runs along a massive fault…

Day 4: A Moonlight Climb

Guitar Lake to Mount Whitney to Junction Meadow (24.4  miles, +3,500/-7,000 feet). Neither one of us could sleep much in anticipation of our alarms going off at 2am for our night hike up to Whitney Summit.  We actually got up a few minutes before the alarms to start packing and grab a bite before we…

Day 3: First Whitney Glimpse

Unnamed Lake at 10,900 feet to Guitar Lake (21 miles, +4,000/-3,500 feet). We awoke about 5:40am this morning.  The predawn light on the eastern horizon reflected on our lake as we packed up, ate breakfast, and got ready to go. We started making our way down towards the Colby Pass Trail.  Vegetation became more common,…