JMT day 17: JMT the second! hell yes!!!

aka PCT day 67: June 25th 2015: Guitar Lake – Mount Whitney – Guitar Lake – Lower Crabtree Meadow. Ca. 14 miles.

We leave Guitar Lake at 6:30 am. Ready to conquer Whitney baby! Ready to finish my second JMT Thruhike. We fly up. We pass a boyscout team (who camped at Guitar Lake too) and I wonder why the fuck they spoil everything for the kids. Too heavy backpacks, too fast, no smiles, bad backcountry ethics. That’s how you ruin it fuckers. We still enjoy the climb (not like the kids) and in 2.45h at 9:15am we’re on the summit. This time I don’t freeze my ass off. I DID IT AGAIN. WE FRIKKIN DID IT! WE COMPLETED THE JMT TOGETHER! YESSS BABY! Continue reading

JMT II day 15: My favorite view along the JMT

aka PCT day 65 : June 23rd 2015: Onion Valley Trailhead – Kearsarge Pass – Vidette Meadow – Campsite past Centre Peak, not too far from Forester Pass. Ca 13 miles

Before we even know it we’re up on Kearsarge Pass again. The ascent is way easier than the descent and we’re surprised it feels so short. We pass Kearsarge Lakes and Bulfrog Lakes and soon we’re at the JMT junction and back at my favorite view towards East Vidette and Centre Peak. I love this view so much. I swear I’ll be coming back to this view for as long as I live!

We head down and find a bugfree spot past Vidette Meadow to have lunch. Only 4 miles till camp? Can that be? Yessss. It’s hot though and the mozzies keep annoying me, even while I’m moving. Fuckers!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

JMT II day 12: Two passes a day keeps the doctor away

aka PCT day 62: June 20th 2015: Upper Palisade Lake – Mather Pass – Pinchot Pass – Wooden suspension bridge over Woods Creek. Ca. 20 ml

A long day. Intended mileage: 10 miles. Actual mileage: 20 miles. Damn baby!
After only 1h 20 min we’re up on Mather. It’s not even 8 am yet. It’s an easy peasy climb in the shade. Lovely. We have the pass to ourselves and enjoy the solitude and the view. We head down into the basin and we meet Aquaman. Awesome! Haven’t seen him for a while and it’s good to hear his story. A bit further down we meet Jabba (most people know him as The Real Hiking Viking). We both are trail ambassadors for Gossamer Gear and we take a few minutes to chat. He’s kind and happy and still hikes a frikkin 30 to 35 miles a day. Beast! Heading up to Pinchot we meet Nutella. She seems happy to. I think of the day we fought that bad weather in the desert together with her and Highwater and we spent the afternoon at the forest service, hiding from the storm. Continue reading

JMT II day 11: A golden staircase at noon

aka PCT day 61: June 19th 2015: Little Pete Meadow – Golden Staircase – Upper Palisade Lake. Ca. 12 ml

We sleep till 6 am. The sun is already making the mountains around us glow. I get out of the tent and bamm there is mama deer with her one year old. Awesome. Hi cuty pies!
It’s al downhill till we reach the camp where I camped 2 years ago, 3 miles further and then we start climbing. It’s frikkin hot in the sun and I’m not feeling very fit today. Thank god there are still some aspen and pine trees till we reach the Golden Staircase at 11 am. We are tired but we keep on going. I notice the lack of calories. I’m starting to get hungry all the time. Here I go again, the story repeating itself. We climb the staircase in the midday sun and ya it’s tough but it’s still beautiful. O yes it’s still beautiful! The wild flowers add color and there’s still water in the little creeks flowing down. Continue reading

JMT II day 10: Muir Pass & peeing my pants in front of rock monster :cP

aka PCT day 60 : June 18th 2015: Mc Clure Meadow – Evolution Lake – Saphire & Wanda Lake – Muir Pass – Helen Lake – Little Pete Meadow. Ca. 17 ml

We are fast today cause we want to see the sunrise over the mountain. But the sun takes ages to get up and so we get going at 6:50 am.On the way up to Evolution Lake we meet Rumba. He looks tired, exhausted. Poor kid going crazy from the mozzies. His eyes are swollen from not enough sleep. At 9 am we’re at Evolution lake already and have a twix break. What a treat! The raw beauty of Evolution Lake is breathtaking.

We hike past Saphire and Wanda Lake. Damn we’re fast. By 11:45am we’re up on Muir Pass. 10 miles done. We have a quick lunch and then decide there are too many people up there so we start hiking down. Fuck, that downhill is a bitch, just like I remember. Our morale is getting low and then bammm we meet Robin and Carla and are sooo happy to see them. I’ve been wondering and hoping we’d see them back. We talk for like half an hour and then keep going. We go down, they go up. Life o life!

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading