July 31, 2010

JMT Day 7

Wanda Lake, on the way towards Muir Pass

Date: Tuesday, July 20
Miles: ~20.5
Cumulative Miles: 144
Camp: Deer Meadow

We weren't very efficient on the morning of Day 7. After camping close to 11,000 feet, we figured we'd just breeze right up Muir Pass in the morning and actually have a pretty easy day of hiking. However, we tried to find a "dry" crossing for the first stream of the day (we ended up wandering around and still going in waist deep water), and then somewhere along the way Andrea dropped her camera. We backtracked and with the help of another group of hikers, we were able to find it! :-) It stopped working, but after another day it would be working again.

Muir Pass had the most snow of the entire JMT... it actually had considerable snowfields on both sides of the pass. We never bothered pulling out our microspikes, though. We took a nice long break at the hut on top of the pass, then realized that we had to get moving if we were going to get as far as we needed towards the next (Mather) pass to set us up for a big day 8. The hike down the south side of Muir Pass and LeConte Canyon was probably the best part of the entire JMT. The scenery was just amazing! And since there was so much snow, we were able to plunge step large sections on the south side of the pass.

The bonus for the day? Here's what I wrote in my journal: "NO BUGS AGAIN!!!"

We went to bed excited for day #8 - our plan was to climb both Mather and Pinchot passes in the same day. We needed to do at least one "double pass" day on the southern half of the hike if we were going to finish in 11 days, and considered Mather/Pinchot to be our best shot.

The trail winds right along Wanda Lake

Andrea heading up the long snowfield

The blurry view from her camera... better than a lost camera, though!

At the Muir hut

Obviously I had to climb to the top of the hut!

Heading down the south side of the pass

Looking back up

Lots of snow... the lakes were still partially frozen up here

Still lots of snow

And all that snow was melting, which meant the "trail" was essentially a stream

Medium Lake

LeConte Canyon

The most scenic section of the trail so far


Lots of wildflowers

Happy after another great day

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