Day 5. Sometimes the Snow is Not Your Friend. June 25, 2016.
Upper Palisade Lake to Lower Barrett Lake. 6am to 5:45pm
I am not counting miles but 5.2 miles in 12 hours is crazy! It was another day of lots of breaks spent reading and rereading the guide book and looking at the map hoping that we would find an easier way. Steep snow covered up some of the so called easy routes so we had to figure out other ways.
It was nice to have a mile of nicely groomed JMT to warm up on this morning.
Then we cut off toward Cirque Pass. The snow ended up making things easier on the way up but not on the way down… except for some short sections of glissading.
I found a Crazy Creek folding chair that I picked up. I think it weighs a pound. Ugh. Just what I need. But I have used it at lunch and dinner and I am sitting in it inside my tent right now. A couple days ago I found a bandana which Wired needed for sun protection. The trail provides.
Continuing on to Potluck Pass was where the snow really messed us up. We went a way that was much harder rock climbing than it should have been. And much more exposed. It was that or cross steep snow fields with even more exposure.
The view from the top of Potluck Pass was spectacular.
Then we had the circuitous route down to the Barrett Lakes. It wasn’t that steep but the soft snow made things more interesting.
Tonight’s campsite is my favorite of the trip. We are on a granite slab above Lower Barrett Lake at 11,468 ft and just below Knapsack Pass. North Palisade Peak is towering over us and we can see so many peaks all around. This afternoon, it started to get smoky. Luckily it seems to be south of us and we are heading north.
We all had to set up our tents without using stakes because of the rocky ground. Rocks work really well.
And we did check the GPS a few times today.