Sierra High Route – Day 12 (13 miles)
Neither Sting Bean nor I wanted to get out of bed. My drink bottles and shoes frozen solid. It was cold.
Eventually, we got up and got moving as fast as possible.
Our morning consisted of climbing up to the first pass, but it was mainly trying to get some sun on us and on warm up. About halfway up it finally happened – sunlight. We stopped so SB could squeeze the water from his socks and warm up his feet.
It took two stops to finally warm him up. It should have been an easy climb up the rocks but we tried to stay off them to avoid the ice. This meant that we stayed on the scree with a layer of power on top that made it hard to see what we would step on.
The pass was lovely, with fresh snow everywhere. We traversed around the basin to the next pass. The conditions we were facing meant it was too hard to head straight for the pass and we ended up climbing above the pass and coming down on the ridge to it.
We headed down the valley and I took us on a long route around the basin to see all the lakes before we climbed up for the last pass.
This pass was a bit different as we took the opportunity to head out to the end of Windy Ridge. The guidebook says it is an easy half-mile stroll to the end with an amazing overview of a few valleys. The walk was not as easy as expected. With the layer of snow, we found we could not walk around the rock outcroppings easily and ended up having to scramble through them the view was totally worth even this extra effort.
The rest of the day was in the trees. A bit of a unique experience on this route. Both of us were a bit dehydrated and we headed to a lake slightly out of the way for afternoon food and to rehydrate.
We then set off to try and find the trail we were meant to be on. We would find it and then loose it again mainly due to the snow covering it. Eventually, we gave up and headed straight for the Glacial Lakes and our camp for the night.
After a bit of a climb, we stopped at the first lake and eat dinner. I jumped into bed and talked to SB as he picked pine nuts. We did get to see a great sunset tonight.
The clouds look threatening. I hope it doesn’t snow again tomorrow!