Monday, August 12
Start: Rosalie Lake (9355′)
End: Purple Lake (9935′)
Elevation gain: 5131′
I was up early this morning after going to bed early last night; I was packed up and on trail by 6:15am. After a brief climb to Gladys Lake, it was mostly downhill to Reds Meadow (7660′). I arrived at Reds by 9:45am and spent an hour and a half there, showering, resupplying, charging my devices, washing my socks, and having a breakfast snack at their cafe. It was a welcome break, though the bus every 20 minutes was a horrible temptation. My lungs have not been adjusting well to elevation so far (though today was better than yesterday), and I nearly threw in the towel and quit. But I managed to find the desire to continue, acknowledging that I can slow down and take more days if I need it.
From Reds, it was a long uphill slog. I climbed by Upper Crater Meadow (8920′), Deer Creek (9115′), and Duck Pass Trail (10,165′) before arriving at Purple Lake (9935′).
No camping is allowed within 300 feet of the lake’s inlet, so all the legal campsites are set into the hillside; however, it’s a rocky area with little flat ground. I lucked out and after some searching, found a perfect spot with just enough space for a single 1-person tent. I also ended up having dinner and chatting with Mummy Feet and Easy Does It (Mike); it was nice to have some company at the day’s end.