Thursday, August 15
Start: between McClure and Colby Meadow (~9660′)
End: campsite near Deer Meadow (8875′)
Elevation gain: 4902′
After a successful night with a bear hang (and a fair amount of congested coughing still), I woke up around 5:15 and was on trail by 6:15, despite being a bit cranky. I then started the long climb up to Muir Pass (11,955′). The hike up Muir Pass was epic; it really got me settled into enjoying the beauty of this trail. The trail passed by Evolution Lake North (10,875′), Evolution Lake South (10,870′), Sapphire Lake (11,000′), and Wanda Lake (11,450′).
At the summit, there was a stone shelter, as temporary bad weather shelter; it also seemed like a popular hike that lined up with a lot of other people – I saw at least a dozen JMT hikers at the pass while I was eating a snack.
On the south side of Muir Pass, it was sometimes hard to follow the trail, due to snow fields and overflowing creeks; it took some extra time to maneuver around. I then descended for a very long time, until today’s trail bottomed out at 8045′ (Middle Fork Trail), and then I climbed up to Deer Meadow, arriving around 5:45pm.
I tried out the campsite 0.2mi from my intended site but found that it wasn’t as nice so I turned around and hiked back. The mosquitoes weren’t atrocious here, though I still wore a head net while preparing dinner and then ate in my tent. Tomorrow, I’m slated for a shorter day at 15.5 miles, with a climb over Mather Pass in the morning and I’m completely psyched!