Day 2: Higher to Alpine Lakes

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!

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