Tuesday September 29, 24.6mi/39.6km
Campsite next to Bear Creek (872.1/8970ft) to Campsite next to Evolution Creek (847.5/9724ft) (CA)
We all left camp at the same time, and hiked together all day. I hadn’t done this before, usually I would hike alone all day, meeting up with people at breaks or camp. It’s alot of fun! There was singing, stories of other SOBO hikers, and of course gear talk and food talk. And I started a new game – I snuck the metal spoon (from Mammoth) into Bonus Miles’ backpack, ha!
We reached to top of Selden Pass (10,900ft) at 10am, and could see lakes in all directions! Looking back over Marie Lake:
And looking ahead to Heart Lake:
We descended off the pass, and past Sallie Keyes lakes. I noticed a faint side trail, and decided to explore. After only 100m, I came to a random cabin next to a small unnamed lake (pond).
Apparently the cabin is used in winter for snow survey workers. I now had more questions than answers, but my group was getting further ahead, so I quickly made my way back to the JMT/PCT.
We descended three thousand feet, down to the South Fork San Joaquin river. It was noticeably warmer down in the valley. We skipped the side trail to Muir Trail Ranch, for the same reason we skipped the VVR side trip yesterday.
The final part of the day was a re-climb of 800ft up into the Evolution valley. There were many switchbacks, and we kept count of them as part of our new “switchback situp” game.
At the top of the climb, we had to do that many situps! I can’t recall the exact number, but it was tiring. And then our final challenge of the day, crossing Evolution Creek! When I was here in June, it was a crotch-deep crossing, and very cold water. In September, it was the exact opposite!
We hiked on for another three miles, and by the time I got to camp, it was still daylight!