Saturday, August 17
Start: campsite near unnamed pond, 1.0 mile before Sawmill Pass Trail (~10,800′)
End: campsite 1.0mi beyond Upper Vidette Meadow (9928′)
Elevation gain: 5030′
I was up around 5:15am this morning and out hiking by 6:15am. I’ve found that I don’t really like going downhill in the morning; I prefer to start out my day with my climbing (when I have the energy, since uphill is not my strong suite) and then finish with some nice relaxing downhill.
I descended down to the intersection with Woods Creek Trail (8550′) and went across this intense suspension bridge. And then it was endless climbing; I went past Arrowhead Lake (10,315′) and Rae Lakes (10,615′) – and the water at Rae Lakes was so clear and turquoise, it just made me want to jump in for a swim. And then there was the last huge push to get to the top of Glen Pass (11,980′).
On the way up, I was reminded it was the weekend by the annoying presence of a bunch of trail runners, day hikers, and weekend backpackers. There was a group (perhaps college) of teenagers at the top of the pass, making a ton of noise (like yelling and screaming) and having dropped their packs in the middle of the trail. I was distinctly irritated by this and waded through them somewhat roughly, and they groused at me about it.
After a snack, it was all the way down to the bottom of this section at Bubbs Creek Trail (9560′). I’d originally thought I’d stop earlier, but I blew past both that stop and the next possible campsite, favoring a nice campsite area a mile beyond Upper Vidette Meadow.
As of now, I have just under 27 miles remaining to summit Mt Whitney. I could take 3 slow, less-than-15 mile days, but we’ll see how I’m feeling.