Thursday, June 14, 2012

14 June - Day 54 - Mather Pass, stunning hike down thru Kings Canyon National Park!

From South Fork of King's River (Mile 811.7) [10,219 ft] to Mather Pass [12,087 ft] down 4000 ft then up to Middle Fork Kings River (Mile 831.7) [8,880 ft]

Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 20

 Rise and shine. Seano leans in and snaps a pic of Pan and Dionysus as we all get ready to break camp.

Pan here.

Gorgeous day today. But the Sierras are just known for gorgeous -- and live up to it.

On way to Pass, Dirty Brown caught up with us, so we were six arriving there. On the way down the other side (with some hard snow fields) waterfalls amazing. Views down canyon to mounting tier on tier of peaks - fjord lakes.

Calf, Pan, Seano, Dionysus, Dirty Brown, and Rubylocks atop pass.

Picnic at water cascade on solid rock w/Calf, Rubylocks, Dirty Brown, Anteater, & us. Washed socks in ice water.

On way down, more blow downs slowed us up. I took tumble off trail (dramatic). "Heaps" of crossings of brooks, streams, springs, runnels, seeps, rivulets, puddles, creeks -- even a footbridge.

Pause at pine glade by river for a rest with many thru-hikers -- and, of course, giant ants appear from nowhere.

Dionysus is managing his gut injury pain (we lift pack onto him). He never complains.

Final push up valley to north toward Muir Pass. Clouds billowed up. Some rain. Umbrellas for a brief summer shower. Helicopters keep zooming up the valley with heavy logs attached by cables. Forest service contractors are working on renovating a large ranger cabin off the trail to the left. We hear the noise in the distance and pass along further up the valley.

Arrival near 5pm at campsite in lodgepole copse by Little Pete Meadow. Corn husk lilies, shooting star, green meadow, huge sheer peaks all around.

Left to right: Anteater, Gariliete, Rubylocks, Dirty Brown, Calf, Dionysus, Pan. [Photo courtesy of Seano]
Mule deer doe hangs out around our camp -- especially wherever we have peed.

It's a chummy group of thru-hikers -- lots of laughter and chatter. Dinner first! We allow ourselves a double dinner (2 Mountain House meals!) since we are only 2.2 days from VVR.

Nice chat with ultra-lite thru-hiker Gareliet (sp?) who joined late.

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1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you back on line. You've hiked off the map I had on the bulletin board, so printed out a new one for the central California stretch.

    Stay well, and keep putting one foot after another.