Tuesday July 14, 12.4mi/20.0km
Lower Tent Meadow (4.1/7810ft) to Horseshoe Lakes (16.5/10,525ft) (CA)
I was up early to finish the climb before it got hot. It started off cool in the shade.
As I climbed higher, there were more alpine meadows, and less shade.
The view south to the mountains across the King’s Canyon.
I finally climbed up to 10,000ft/3000m and there were meadows everywhere.
The first alpine lake I got to was Grouse Lake. The water was warm, so I went in for 10 minutes to rinse off.
I climbed up to Grouse Pass, and had great views of the lake behind me.
And the same lake from higher up, with a cool pointy mountain next to it.
I dropped down from that pass into a shallow valley, then followed this cool sounding creek uphill. It made the most interesting noises.
At the top of the creek was a little pond, evaporating rapidly in July heat. I stopped for lunch.
The next pass I think was called Goat Crest, and it had the most relaxing climb up, with its soft grass ramp.
And at the very top of the pass was a tiny surprise tarn!
The view down the other side of the pass was splendid. The lake is Upper Glacier Lake.
I made my way down to the lake, the descent was a little tricky, some of the options ended in small cliffs. Eventually, I got down and went for a swim.
As I was getting dried off, I heard voices! I’m many hours from the nearest trail, so this was quite surprising. I got a photo of the couple, to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.
The next lake was Lower Glacier lake, very warm and mucky, so I didn’t swim. But it makes a nice photo!
I could see down into the valley that I was about to enter. I would soon learn the valley was filled with hungry mosquitos.
The walking was nice though, mostly on smooth slabby granite.
The last part of the day I joined a trail for two miles. It was a little hard to follow, but still better than the obscure parts on the Bigfoot Trail.
I passed by the State lakes, and didn’t swim with all the mosquitos. Then I came to the Horseshoe Lakes, which were surprisingly bug free. So, swimming again!
Then I made dinner and setup camp.
I get double excited at mealtime, because I love food, and also my backpack gets lighter! This section is 10 days long, which is a ludicrous amount of food and weight to carry. It doesn’t even all fit in the bear canister…yet. It will tomorrow night though!