Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day 45 - Mather Pass

Saturday May 30

I could hear the roar of the South Fork of the Kings River all night. The sound came as a reminder that I needed to cross over its rushing waters. 

Willy and I were packed up by 6:30. We hunted upstream and downstream for a likely place to cross. I finally found a place where I could hop rocks to an island in the middle and then walk a fallen log to the other side!  No wading required! This is what the river crossing looked like.

As we ascended the trail, the morning sunlight illuminated the mountains around us.

Quite often there were creeks to cross, and most could be crossed by hopping on rocks.

As we got further up, the view behind us was amazing.

When we got above tree line, we could see Mather Pass in the distance. It is the low spot to the left.

By 9:30 we reached the top at 12,047 feet. The view to the south was breathtaking.

Another hiker, Redwood, was sitting at the top admiring the view.

Willy was right behind me and we took a break.

The view to the north showed snowfields, frozen lakes and a valley carved by glaciers.

The trail followed Palisade Creek as it roared down the valley. There were several amazing waterfalls.

It took us until 1 o'clock to reach the bottom of the valley. We went from over 12,000 feet to just above 8,000 feet. My leg muscles were sore!

We decided to head towards Muir Pass, because it is considered one of the hardest due to snowfields that have to be crossed both on the way up and the way down. We hiked until 5:30 and are within six miles of the pass. 

This is my tent site tonight.

I am camped at PCT mile 832.8. The elevation here is 9,218 feet. 

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