The first five hours today we were up about 3000+ in elevation. Unlike yesterday, it wasn’t total up elevation but in up-and-down total. I’m now at a mid-height pass in the Sierras and when you climb 1600 hard earned feet from a creek up to a pass, I think it should have a name. Just too many bigger mountains and passes here, I guess.
There’s a lot more open trail than snow than we expected but the former snowdrifts are now just obstacles in the way of the trail that you have to climb over or get around. They slow you down, quite a bit, but they are just part of this section of trail especially on the north facing slopes. One more obstacle was a big one. Rock creek was about 15 ft wide and you couldn’t see the bottom or even any rocks to show you how deep it was. Solid raging angry water. The side-by-side logs that made the summer crossing point was totally submerged in the water causing a big wave over them and huge deep eddy behind them. The only way to cross was a tree that had fallen across the creek but was about 15 ft up in the air above the white water creek. It was perched on our side up the bank a bit and had fallen on to a huge boulder on the other side.
Thankfully the top of the tree broke on the boulder and acted just like a ladder to climb down once you braved the height of the log crossing. We both made it across safely and decided that would be a great time for some breakfast tacos. Second breakfast for us Hobbits. Later, and after another climb, Figure 8 and I glissaded down a few snow fields. Basically you sled down on your butt with no sled using your poles like a rudder and feet for brakes.
We came to a wide part of Whitney Creek crossing and decided to camp. It was next to a large rock and boulder field in the sun. We began watching 2 Marmots play which turned into hours of watching them and their friend pop up, scurry after each other and munching on the brand new grown grass near us.
This lasted all night as we cooked up some smoked meat, mashed potatoes. We also saw a group of 8 decide how to cross creek. The group included Sauce and Giggles who we met and chatted a lot with while we were in Lone Pine. We all decided to ford through a 25′ wide but 3′ shallow area about 100 ft in front of a double waterfall that had about a 40 foot drop in the morning and settled in the watch a blood red sunset.