Day 4. GPS On. Oops, Wrong Lake. June 24, 2016
Marion Lake to Upper Palisade Lake.
6am to 6:30pm
We are hiking long hours but are managing to take lots of breaks. Many times the breaks consist of reading and rereading the guidebook. One or two sentences describe how to traverse up or down a pass. We read, then look at the maps, then look at the terrain, then read again. And then discuss (argue) about what it all means. I wish I had a recording of some of it. Hilarious. I am learning.
Today we crossed one of the 3 hardest passes on this entire route. Frozen Lake Pass. The guidebook says it is a bit difficult to identify. We got to the lake below the pass and reread the description. It didn’t make sense. Rockin’ smartly said we needed to check the GPS. Oops! We were one drainage over. So we did an extra credit bunch of boulder hopping. When we got to the correct lake it all made sense.
The climb up was pretty straight forward.
The way down was over lots and lots of loose talus. Rocks of all sizes were loose. We had to be careful to not move when anyone was below. That made for a slow descent. Rockin’ is really quick down this stuff. She has been practicing for years.
After the loose rocks we had snow of the perfect consistency for quick travel. If there was no snow we would have had way more boulders to scramble over.
The views were just spectacular today. I think we have seen one cloud.
In the afternoon we joined the John Muir Trail for 6 miles.
We met one PCT hiker on the top of Mather Pass. I had expected more people.
On the way down from the pass we met 2 hikers coming toward us. They had just climbed Middle Palisade Peak and were headed to Split Mountain. Then they are going to Mt Shasta. That will complete their ascent of all 14 California peaks over 14,000 ft. In one week! That’s insane.
We have another spectacular campsite above Upper Palisade Lake at 3255 meters.