Sierra High Route – Day 2 (24 miles)
Got up just after 6am. I did not get a lot of sleep, as the thunder was so loud. I was tempted to push on up to the pass last night and sleep there. Glad I didn’t.
I set off up the hill to Stanton Pass. It was steep and I also had some easy scrambling on the way up to the base of the final push. The last section was very steep and I took a few minutes trying to work out where was the best place to get up.
It was a high exposure but easy climb, and I made it to the top without too much fuss. The view from the top was stunning. All I could see before me was slick granite slabs and a beautiful alpine lake.
I started down the slabs to the valley below. It was a fun descent. I had to balance between taking a direct line down and having flat enough rock that my shoes would grip.
I got to the bottom of the valley, crossed it and then started up towards Sky Pilot Pass. The landscape was not the same as the previous pass. Loose rock and bracken were what I had to overcome. It was easy but slow.
At the top, I took a break to dry my tarp out. I’ve only hiked 7 miles in 5 hours. This is slow going.
I just started down the other side and then decided to look at my map. I had taken the wrong route! I was meant to cross the pass slightly to the right. I skirted the mountain and got back on route with only 20 minutes lost.
The other side of the pass was very steep snow that I could not get down. I traversed right and went down a steep scree slope. It was not the most pleasant decent I’ve ever done.
When I got to the bottom of the scree, there were a few lakes that I wandered through for the next hour as I descended once again into lush green meadows.
The clouds began to roll in and before too long I was being hailed on. At least there was no lightning today.
Eventually, I reached a trail that would lead me down to Tuolumne Meadows. I picked up the pace as I headed down on the trail, and this allowed me to get very close to the 25 miles a day I need to compete in order to meet String Bean next Saturday.
I set up my tarp as there were heavy clouds around and went to bed a bit fatigued from the days effort.