Sierra, Part 2

June 24, 2010

Well, the Sierra. I went into the second part of the Sierra well rested after 2 days in Bishop and a better mental attitude about the snow, basically that we would be in it for the next 6 days.  I shopped real well and had great food to eat and was excited for the next days.  We also estimated our miles conservatively.  It was a splendid section because of all these things.  We did about a pass-a-day, which was expected.

The first pass, after Kearsarge, which was the pass we took out to get back to the trail was Glen.  It wasn’t bad.  There was a steep up, but not for very long.  I was with a big group and we all summitted together. 

The next day we did Pinchot, which was a long, gradual climb up, but also not so terrible. 

The next day was Mather!  Mather!  Mather wasn’t physically that difficult, but it was very mentally difficult for me.  It was all, all, all snow and in a big bowl.  On the left side of the bowl was avalanche run out, splendid!  We went around the right.  The right side was long and sprinkled with boulders.  My pack was still heavy with food and I felt a little off kilter as I bouldered across.  Crow Dog was severely patient and I made it to the top.  Lakewood played Sarah McLachlan at the pass while I layed on a rock and decompressed.  Then we glissaded down.  The phrase then we glissaded down can be added after any pass because that’s what we do.  After Mather and between the next pass, Muir, was a beautiful wooded section of TRAIL.  Dear sweet glorious trail that we haven’t seen in days!  We even cleaned up in a river, or I cleaned up in a river while Crow Dog swam and I guess Lakewood cleaned too. 

The next day we did Muir, which was also snowbound, but had a sweet hut at the top.  Muir marked the end of the 4 big passes over 11000 feet or something like that.  We have still continued to do passes, but they are littler. 

The snow has definitely taken a lot of energy to get through, but I was pretty happy with that section.  It was beautiful.  Most of the lakes were frozen, but it was so still and serene.  Anyway.

The other difficult part was the river crossings.  They have been interesting and quite cold.  Sometimes the cold has moved me to tears, especially in the early morning hours when my feet are already cold and wet.  We have seen some amazingly powerful water though, which has been so aweinspiring.  I can’t even put into words how crazy powerful the water has been and how pheonomenal it is to see so much rushing water. 

Things I’ve learned in the Sierra:

To get frozen shoes unfrozen in the morning, pour water on them!  It is darned cold though.

Walking can be emotional.

The Sierra are delightful and I must come back when they are unfrozen!

Sorry if this is rambling.  Dinner is here.  Thanks for all your support.  I will have more of an idea of where I will be later for those of you who have asked about packages, when the hiking becomes more predictable.  Thank you for all your encouragement!


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