Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 834
We didn’t get as early of a start as we had planned, because SweetPea didn’t hear her alarm. But it all worked out ok. It seemed that everyone left at their own time and we eventually all came together at the top of Mather Pass.
Within the first 15 minutes of hiking, we had to ford a river. The water was so cold that our feet were in pain for awhile after going through the stream. Luckily that was the only ford of the day and we were able to enjoy relatively dry feet for a good portion of the day.
We had about four miles this morning to get to the top of the pass. There seemed to be several ways to get up, but they all ended up having to do a bit of a rock scramble at the top.
This was the first pass that we did in the morning. It was such a difference to walk over hard, crusty snow instead of the slushy snow we have been experiencing on the other passes we do in the middle of the afternoon. Getting to the top of the pass by 8:00am made us feel very accomplished at an early hour.
Coming down from the pass was a slow snowy trek. A lot of the route was pretty steep, but with the micro-spikes, it was doable at a patient and steady pace. SweetPea did a short glissade, but in her desire to not slow things up, she didn’t use her foam pad. She went down just in her skirt, and with the morning snow still hard, she ended up scraping her right thigh pretty good…definitely not a wise move.
Eventually we made it below the snow line and were able to walk on the nice trail. The trail went by several pristine lakes before descending what is known as the Golden Staircase…basically a very long and winding set of stone stairs. There was obviously a huge amount of work put into creating that stretch of trail.
At the bottom, we took an hour-long break for lunch and then continued on to get our last ten miles done. The trail in the afternoon was pretty mild, with gradual downhill and then gradual uphill. We were glad to get to camp just after 6:30. It was another long day of hiking. We are looking forward to four days from now when we will be able to have some lower mile days as we get closer to Yosemite.
Tonight from our hammocks we have a view of an almost full moon peeking out from the side of a mountain across the river from our camp. It looks pretty amazing. A nice cap to our beautiful day.