6.19.18. 20 miles.
We had heard that there was more snow on Silver Pass than Selden, so we decided this morning would be an earlier one, so we were hiking by 5:30 am. There was a little bit more of a steeper ascent, followed by a more gradual ascent through absolutely beautiful rocky terrain with lakes and mountains. Seeing the sun rise on the mountains is one of my favorite things.
Hot Mess & Butters left camp a little before me, but I caught up with Butters once we started crossing the snow patches, and we finished the ascent to the top of the pass together. This pass was interesting because the climb didn’t top out at the pass, we had to keep going to reach the top.
We hung out at the top for a few minutes, chatting with some hikers we had been leap-frogging with these last few days: Apache, Helter, and Fairweather, and taking pictures. There was more snow on the descent, so I put my microspikes on to help speed up the descent, which was helpful. Before we knew it, we were at the bottom of the steepest part of the climb. Hot Mess had gone ahead so me and Butters hiked together the rest of the morning for the descent, stopping often to take pictures as we knew this was basically our last big Sierra pass, so we wanted to savor the beauty!
We had another climb once we reached the bottom (pretty typical out here), and it was long and hot. Nice views of the mountains though. We eventually reached the top and found more lakes, and Hot Mess waiting for us at our maybe lunch spot that didn’t look comfortable at all and was swarming with mosquitos. So we climbed some more, coming upon random patches of snow on the trail, which was odd for us since we only had been seeing snow on the passes so far.
Right before lunch I saw some distant mountains that looked familiar, so I pulled out my peak finder app to see what they were: it was Mount Clark and some other Yosemite mountains! I almost got a little bit emotional because I couldn’t believe I had walked from Mexico to almost Yosemite, my favorite place! We eventually reached a nice lunch spot with some other hikers (mentioned above) and settled down for a decent lunch break.
After lunch we had some up/ down trail that was a little boring, through a dusty forest, and we all hiked separately, listening to our podcasts/ music. I reunited with Butters at the 900 mile mark, and we took our photos. I also had cell service in this section, so we took a little break when we met up with Hot Mess to use our phones. We had heard some conflicting information about the times of the shuttle from Red’s Meadow to Mammoth, and another hiker said the road was closed, so Hot Mess called to confirm a few things. The road was open, and the first shuttle to leave is around 7:30. Cool. We also realized we had a lot of daylight left and decided to hike a few more miles to make our day tomorrow even shorter. I got a call from Mom while I was filtering water for the night, and it was nice to talk to her for a bit while getting to & setting up camp!
I finally ate Mac & cheese for the first time with my stove and it was glorious! I also put bacon bits in on Butters’ recommendation and it was pure bliss. It has been nice having my stove in the Sierra, but I’m already thinking about going back to cold soaking once I get to Nor Cal just because it’s so much more convenient & I don’t have to wait for my food to cook at night.
I went to bed posting blog posts and editing photos and playing on Instagram since I had phone service.