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 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 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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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?

Continue reading