JMT II day 13: Glen Pass – Kearsarge Pass – Bring it on!

aka PCT day 63: June 21st 2015: Woods Creek – Dollar Lake – Rae Lakes – Glen Pass – Kearsarge Pass – Onion Valley Trailhead – Independence. Ca 18 miles.

It’s hard to get up after a 20 mile day. But we gotta keep moving. Glen bitch Pass is coming up. I’m tired so tired walking towards Dollar Lake. I keep thinking of home. The trail is a bit flatter along Arrowhead Lake and Rae lakes and we talk to a young ranger for a bit and enjoy the amaaazing views. And then… ya… Glen Pass… well well it’s actually not as bad as I remember. This time I know there’s a fake plateau and so I know the climbing is just a bit longer than what you can see from the bottom. We’re actually up in no time. It’s windy as fuck up there so we head down thebowl (that’s what the south side of Glen looks like to me). People look like ants on the switchbacks.

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JMT II day 9: Never miss a sunset in Evolution Valley!

aka PCT day 59: June 17th 2015: Sallie Keyes Lake – Mc Clure Meadow. Ca. 16ml

Ah it’s beautiful to wake up at Sallie Keyes and have breakfast with a lake view. Have I said I love this place? It’s wonderful to start hiking on the trail inbetween the two lakes, it turns into a sandy patch, into a forest, a meadow, aspen, and then there comes the descent to the San Joaquin River.  Switchbacks down the Manzanitas and we pass all the places I remember passing 2 years ago with a backpack filled with 9 days worth of food (I was crazy back then…. I guess I probably still am but now I don’t have 9 days of food in my pack… not sure whether that makes me more or less crazy). We meet Sneezle and Grapefruit and Buttplug and it’s fun to hear their stories how they’ve been since we last seen them.

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JMT II day 8: Swimming in Sallie Keyes

aka PCT day 58: June 16th 2015: VVR – Bear Ridge Trail – Bear Creek – Rosemarie Meadow – Marie Lake – Selden Pass – Sallie Keyes Lakes. Ca. 19 ml

I wake up early, enjoy breakfast and coffee in the first rays of the rising sun. It’s still cold though. We leave VVR at 7:15 am and are up on Bear Ridge at 9:50. Not bad for 8,2 miles uphill! Damn. We’re getting fast. Soon we reach Bear Creek after a downhill along beautiful espen, cedar and pine trees. It feels like ages till we reach the crossing (2 years ago I camped right before this crossing – back then we thought it was Rosemarie Meadow… oops it’s not, it’s Upper Bear Creek Meadow). After an “easy peasy take off my shoes-crossing” we have lunch and then hike on along the gorgeous Rosemarie Meadow and then Marie Lake. OMfG! It’s still as beautiful as I remember but the fucking mozzies don’t allow us to take a break. Moving is the only way to outrun them. Continue reading

JMT II day 7: Miles & Smiles

aka PCT day 57: June 15th 2015: Silver Pass Lake – VVR. Ca. 13ml

It’s a gorgeous breakfast view we have at our campsite at Silver Pass Lake. We only leave camp at 7:30 am and after about 15 minutes we meet a first PCT hiker. It’s Kate!!! Holy moly! We last met her at Mount Laguna. Her trailname now is: M&S: Miles and Smiles. And o yes it suits her! This girl rocks. Making big miles and smiling all over. She gives us a boost of good energy!

We head down Silver Pass. And as I remember it’s a bitch I still wouldn’t wanna hike NOBO, but boy the views are amazing! Right before the VVR junction we meet… Joeeeee! Awesome! He’s doing great, hiking on his own, we share tortillas and cheese and we chat.

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JMT II day 6: From purple to silver

aka PCT day 56:  June 14th 2015: Deer Creek – Purple Lake – Lake Virginia – Silver Pass – Silver Pass Lake. Ca. 17 ml

Smooth and steady climb till Purple Lake. I walk without fear, not like 2 years ago, where I ran and wrote the “I am to be wild” poem in my head. Beautiful views down the valley. We meet tons of people we know, like the Ravens and Pantera. We have an apple break at Purple Lake and head on towards Lake Virginia where we have a great lunchbreak. We soak our feet, I take a sun bath aaah wonderful! Now ready for Silver Pass? O well yes. But first down to Tully Hole. The views are frikkin BREATHTAKING. Continue reading

JMT II day 5: Hiker box resupply

aka PCT day 55: June 13th 2015: Rosalie Lake – Reds Meadow – Deer Creek. Ca. 15ml

We hike down the 9 miles to Reds. It’s beautiful, but also a bit boring. We’re fast but, thinking of the food at the mule’s café, it feels not fast enough. There are thousands of mosquitoes at Gladys Lake and the last miles to Devils Postpile seem to take aaaages. We still get there at 10:30 am. We start resupplying out of the hikers box and two men come to chat with us and give us food. Awesooome! Now we don’t have to go down into Mammoth for a resupply but can just resupply here. We buy a few extra things in the store and are done. We eat burgers at the Mule’s Cafe (yummm) and then hikers start coming in. Continue reading

JMT II – day 4: A thousand islands, a thousand lakes

aka PCT day 54 . June 12th 2015: Lake underneath Donahue Pass – Donahue Pass – Island Pass – Thousand Island Lake – Emerald Lake – Ruby Lake – Shadow Lake – Rosalie Lake. Ca 15ml

DonahuePass7I wake up and feel like as if a heavy load has fallen off my shoulders. Sometimes it’s good to let everything out, the hurt feelings, the disappointments, the haunting ghosts. It gives them less power if you look them in the face, if you don’t let them grow in silence, if you don’t feed them chunks of your soul.

We hike up Donahue as if it’s nothing. Holy moly my legs got strong baby! After just 45 minutes we’re on the the pass, take a quick pic and hike down. It’s gorgeously green. Water everywhere, flowers o the wild flowers and… mozzies.

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JMT II – day 3: Thunder in my soul

aka PCT day 53 – June 11th 2015: Upper Cathedral Lake – Tuolumne Meadows – Lyell Canyon – Lake underneath Donahue Pass, 15-16 ml

Lyellcanyon7Bad sleep. So tired. Condensation. Everything damp. But the sky is clear. My heart weeps walking over the sandy patch of soil next to Cathedral Peak where I first met MG and TAW two years ago. I wanna sit down and cry but I walk on, down to Tuolumne.
The trees breath their damp breath into the warmer getting air. It’s beautiful. We have breakfast at the grill but it’s frikkin not worth the money. My food is cold and not well cooked.
A lady who can’t finish her plate gives us her left overs. I feel like we’re treated as homeless people, but I know she just wants to be kind to us. She says she always feels sorry for us hikers. Poor lady, how would she know nature is our home and maybe she should rather feel sorry for those millions of people caught in cities, fulltime jobs and unhappy relationships.
We do a quick resupply in the tiny store and then head on towards Lyell Canyon.

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JMT II – day 2: ‘Medicine walk’ up Sunrise Mountain

aka PCT day 52, June 10th 2015: LYV- Upper Cathedral Lake – 12-13 ml

forgot I'm a catIt’s 6:30am already when we get up. The clouds are still hanging low but a few ‘blue holes’ are in the sky. I’m relaxed. I’m on the JMT. No need to rush. I’m on the land that captured my heart. I wanna go slow.

We hike back up towards the Clouds Rest / Half Dome Junction and this time we go right, following the JMT. This is the place where I hugged Dave and Gordon, my trail angels who saved me from the mountain lion two years ago, goodbye.

Today I’ll walk my medicine walk. This path in the present connects my path in the past and my path in the future. Every step I take is memory, is hope, is prayer. Today all I do, all I think, is a prayer.
And then, while walking, I notice something has changed. A part of the land that used to be green, full of trees, is burned down. Burned land. So many lessons to learn from the burned land. New life is bursting with green and colors along the creek. Sometimes things have to die, so new life can be born.

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JMT II – day 1

 aka PCT day 51 – June 9th 2015: Happy Isles – Top of Half Dome – Little Yosemite Valley

We wake up early. Enough with being lazy (o it’s been wonderful though!!!)! It’s time to rock some more trail! JMT the second. Here we goooooo!

Together with Trisha and Spencer from Toronto (who we’ve been sharing the campsite with) we take the shuttle till Happy Isles. They’ll go up the Half Dome cables too today. I redo the picture I took 2 years ago at the mileage sign and then we hike up the JMT while they choose to go up following the Mist Trail. (HQ and I both hiked the Mist Trail before, so we go with the easy peasy JMT outta the Valley this time.)  Man it’s a smooth climb up towards Little Yosemite Valley. Much easier than I remember. Ha I didn’t have these awesome PCT legs two years ago! In no time we’re in LYV. We eat our sandwich plus tons of nutella, put up our tent and then hike on towards Half Dome. Clouds are hanging low. It feels like thunderstorms are in the air. I walk up the path towards the Clouds Rest / Half Dome junction for the 3rd time in my life and am flooded with memories. First time I walked here was the day before my mountain lion night at the foot of Sunrise Mountain. The second time after that night. And I can tell you… Down came another woman from that mountain. And now… here I am again. Who am I now? What is waiting for me?

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