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 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