Sunday, September 11, 2016

High Sierra Trail – Day 7 (Sunday)

[Maryanne]The plan for today was to hike from Crabtree meadow up to Mile 206.2 on the John Muir trail (just above Guitar Lake). Guitar Lake is the traditional camp site for those planning to summit Mount Whitney, Kyle decided to go a little higher so we’d be closer, and since there was water there, it made little difference (it was another short distance day planned).

The night had been cold again, and we saw condensation on the inside of the rain fly, and we are well bundled (most likely at the limits of our sleeping bags). While hiking though, we were back to shorts and t-shirt. We passed the beautiful Timberline Lake, and eventually climbed above all the trees, views continued to impress. We stopped at Guitar lake for a snack, and enjoyed watching the marmots and squirrels.

Another short and beautiful day of hiking - finally above the tree line (aside from the odd straggler)

Once we reached the planned camp site, we agreed to climb a bit further, to the next ledge, and from there Kyle went on a scouting mission for the ideal camping spot. This led us to find water higher still and a good site for the tent – so we camped at 12,000’. We set up the chairs and enjoyed the sun for a while, fetched and filtered water, and then just took a walk about at the same elevation, around the rocky terrain and between tarns.

In the absence of trees, Kyle set up a novel tripod to help with the water filtering.

Not bad!

Later, at camp, the skies darkened and eventually it started to rain heavily. We retreated to our tent for a couple of hours nap. Another camper arrived and setup camp, an older, solo hiker (Evan) who was busy bagging the California 14ers (all the mountains over 14,000’). He was very considerate and first asked if we minded him camping in our area (ha, it wasn’t ‘ours’), and even when we assured him it was fine, he found a spot out of site of us, giving us all privacy.

We spent the evening pondering our achievements so far, while being fully aware that tomorrow we planned the big ascent up to Mount Whitney.

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