Itinerary, milageage, trail statistics, descriptio

Trip Start Jul 15, 2009
Trip End Jun 01, 2010

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Where I stayed
in the backcountry

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 1: Happy Isles trail head to Little Yosemite Valley Campground. 4 mile hike. total 4 miles

Day 2: LYV camp over Cathedral Pass to Tuolumne Meadows backpackers camp: 18.9 miles. total 22.9 miles. Resupply point.  We hiked long this day to avoid arriving at Tuolumne Meadows Post Office on Sunday.  We really didn't need this resupply but it allowed us to do the climb out of Yosemite with less weight in food.  We carried Two days of food from the Valley floor and then picked up 3 days of food to get to Red's Meadow Resort.

Day 3: TM camp to head of Lyle canyon: 11.5 miles. total 34.9 miles.  Most likely place to be harrassed by black bears from what we were told.  We climbed just a little up the climb to Donahue pass and dried out from the rain the previous night.  No bear activity.  In fact we never ran into a bear along the John Muir Trail.

Day 4: Lyle canyon over Donahue pass and camped on Island Pass. 5.4 miles, total 42 miles.  this was the first high pass and Misty and I climbed to the pass at our own paces.  we met at the pass above tree line between Granite peaks.  sat there for lunch, enjoyed the harrassment by a resident marmot.

Day 5: Island pass Thousand Island Lake, Garnet lake, and others. Camped just after Johnston meadow.  14 miles. total 55.3 miles.  this was a gorgeous campsite purched several hundred feet above the lake made famous in the photography of Ansel Adams.  First night we slept out without a tent. very pleasant but a little cold even in our 20 degree bags.  We decided to head down to Mammoth Lakes our next resupply point to wash some fluff back into our sleeping bags and buy some liners.  The hike that day was along a string of lakes and ended with a campsite near a creek.

Day 6: JM camp to Red's Meadow resort. 3 miles. 58.3 total. Resupply point.  Short hike mostly through Devil's Post Pile national monument to our resupply point and a regional bus ride down to the town of Mammoth Lakes, California.

Day 7: stay in Mammoth Lakes, CA after purchasing  sleeping bag liners. return to trail by bus down to Reds Meadow and hike to just above Purple lake. 14 miles. total 72 miles. Hike was majorly through burned areas of a few years ago. slow climb out of Red's Meadow and ended back in the granite after hiking through much volcanic areas.

Day 8: Purple lake camp to camp just before Silver Pass.  10.2 miles. total 80.5 miles. hike followed wide drainages and ended in a meadow just before dropping off.  we camped at the top of a steep slope with waterfalls overlooking a beatiful green valley.

Day 9: From camp over silver pass to camp by Bear Creek near the Bear Creek junction. 14.5 miles. total 95 miles.  silver pass was close to tree line and we made the climb in the morning past its large, seemingly shallow lakes.  Saw lots of fish in the lakes.

Day 10: Bear Creek Camp over Selden Pass to Muir Trail Ranch and Blarney Hot Springs. 13 miles. total 108 miles. Resupply point. hike down toward Lake Florence.  Resupply at ranch that had a lot of extra free hiker food.  We chose to resupply with ten days of food to finish the remaining section of the hike.  Heavy packs so to speak with lots of food.  Ended the day in hot springs near the river.

Day 11: Blarney River Camp to  Evolution Lake.  twenty mile climb to Muir Pass. 15.2 miles. total 123.2 miles. long climb through meadows and along waterfalls.  beautiful day that ended with a spectacular sunset and some motivation from Andy and Mike to make it to the lake.  A beautiful campsite at the outlet of the lake.

Day 12: Evolution lake inlet camp over Muir Pass to Bishop Pass trail junction. 12.5 miles. total 135 miles. Nice climb along lakes with frogs and rosy finches surrounded by sub alpine meadow and then a climb up to the incredible stone hut at Muir Pass.  We climbed down from the pass and camped in the forest.

Day 13:  Bishop pass trail junction to Upper Palisade lake. 14 miles. total 147 miles.  This is a long climb up to the lakes.  We set ourselves up well to go over Mather pass the next day.  Clouds loomed and moved in and started forming rainbows and then rain.  it rained throught the night but cleared for the morning climb over Mather the next day.

Day 14: Upper Palisade Lake camp over Mather Pass and Pinchot Pass to Twin lakes camp. 16 miles. total 162 miles. A two pass day. amazing climbs and Misty got the coyottes calling from atop Pinchot Pass.  We hiked off Pinchot to some fens in order to camp but ended up camping with a number of others in a small forested area.

Day 15:  Twin Lakes Camp to Rae Lakes Island between the lakes. 10.4 miles. total 173 miles.  from Twin lakes we descended fairly deep before starting to climb toward Glen pass.  During a rainstorm we stopped and learned a new card game by dollar lake.  the name of the card game was "Oh heck".  we stopped at the ever busy Rae Lakes.  A  beautiful area to camp and we stayed on a kind of land bridge between the two lakes.

Day 16: Rae Lakes camp over Glen Pass to lake at 12,250  feet  camp. 12.8 miles. total 185.8 miles.  Big climb from Rae Lakes onto the skinny Glenn Pass, we again descended fairly deeply before climbing back over 12,000 feet to camp above tree line.  A great little lake that set us up nicely to climb up and over Forester Pass the next morning.

Day 17: lake at 12,250 camp over Forester Pass to Guitar lake camp.  17.6 miles. total 203.4 miles.  Got up early and going since we had a lot of miles to walk before the end of the day.  Climbed Forester early and then wandered through sub alpine and then forests with many dead trees before having lunch at Bighorn Plateau, near a pond.  the rest of the day was a push to arrive at Guitar lake at 11,300 feet in preparation for the summit day the following day.

Day 18: Guitar Lake camp over Mt. Whitney 14,459 and then out the whitney portal. 15.1 miles. total 218.5 miles.  Day started in the moonlight at 3:30 am.  We climbed up to the summit of Mt. Whitney and arrived just after sunrise.  Spectacular early morning views and few people were on the summit that early.  We stayed at the summit of Mt. Whitney for about an hour taking pictures and getting cold.  Then we started the steep descent down after finishing the 3000 foot ascent.  The descent was 6000 feet and the world got hot by the time we got down to the bottom.  Our energy of taking the last steps seem to lead us on finish the trail at about 2:00 pm.

Total days: 18
Total Miles: 218.5
Average miles: 12.1 per day

Passes:        Elevation
Cathedral       9,700
Donahue        11,050
Island            10,200
Silver             10,900
Selden           10,870
Muir                11,955
Mather           12,080
Pinchot          12,100
Glen              11,980
Forester         13,200
Mt. Whitney  14,459

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