July 31, 2010

JMT Day 9

Upper Rae Lake

Date: Thursday, July 22
Miles: ~22
Cumulative Miles: 187
Camp: Plateau 2000' below Forester Pass

The big climb for day 9 was Glen Pass, but the hardest part of the day ended up being the first couple hours. Andrea and I both had flat legs all morning, and by the time we had hiked 6-7 miles, we were already feeling fatigued. Since it was only around 10am, we stopped to cook a hot breakfast, even though we had already eaten our real breakfast and morning snacks. I whipped up a couple bowls of oatmeal, and somehow that made all the difference in the world, because before long we were feeling strong again. The hike through the Rae Lakes region was AMAZING, and the same is true of the climb up Glen Pass. The 360 views from the top of the pass were breathtaking. We took almost an hour at the top, soaking it all it.

We felt great all afternoon, so we ended up climbing quite a way up towards Forester Pass, stopping to camp at a high plateau at 11,200 feet... leaving us only 2,000 feet of vertical to go up first thing in the morning. We finished the day feeling like the end was in sight... with only about 25 miles left to the summit of Mt Whitney. It was also a great feeling to start off the day feeling crummy, but turn it around and still end up covering 22 miles and feeling great all afternoon!

Heading up towards Rae Lakes... this is when we were feeling terrible in the morning

Even though we were hurting, the views kept getting better

After oatmeal, we felt better, and this section of the hike was a breeze

Rae Lakes

This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip

Upper Rae Lake

Just before starting the switchbacks up Glen Pass

Some small snowfields to cross


On the top of Glen Pass

Glen Pass panoramic

Squeezing out every last drop of Nutella

Mmmmm chocolate goodness!

Glen Pass

Heading down the South side of the pass

Another awesome alpine lake

This JMT is a pretty scenic trail, huh? :-)

Cool spot to take a break

Another awesome lake we passed by

The climate got drier as we headed further south

We'd be over 10,000 feet for the next 48 hours

Heading up towards Forester Pass

Our campsite on the plateau (tent on the left)

Another shot of our campsite... this one might have been the best of the trip

Cooking up some dinner at 11K

Happy after another great day

"Hiding" the BearVaults... not too worried about the bears at 11,000 feet!

One last shot of the campsite before going to bed

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