View of gorgeous Feather Peak from Feather Pass (12,375ft) on Saturday (3/3 panorama, for full view see my profile). Viewed from other angles it’s obvious why it was named “Feather.” I like this striking angle, too. I had a conversation with Poet yesterday. When I’m less than 500 feet from bagging a peak as I have been many times this month, why don’t I do it? It’s not that I can’t or am scared or haven’t thought about it, it’s just that I don’t want to. Strange? Poet thinks so.
It’s rare to meet other people on the SHR here we have three, including two who have hiked the route before. We’re at 11,800 feet, looking north on Puppet Lake. They have what appears to be their mother with them so they take the right side slowly, while I tackle the class 3-4 talus straight down and gain half a mile on them by the time I reach the lake. They then head East as they are on a shorter loop hike. Ah, solitude! Friday.
The Sierra High Route wasn’t all rocks and alpine lakes – it was also rocks and trees! Trees eating rocks! And a good chunk of this section was on well-established trail. I struggled with my feelings about this. The trails bring civilization back far into the woods, though they do definitely make walking easier. As I got closer and closer to Tuolumne Meadows, hitting Vogelsang High Sierra Camp along the way, I started to really miss being off trail and making my own way. It’s so hard but so… charming. (Like being a kid in the Alaska woods again, just setting off and exploring, climbing on things, getting whimsical and finding oneself.) The pack trails leading up over Vogelsang Pass… continue reading
Trail? What trail? The Sierra High Route involves many miles of navigating fields of boulder fields and talus much like this, which explains how I’ve already destroyed two pairs of socks and a brand new pair of shoes in only 75 miles. Thank goodness for strong ankles a keen sense of balance, but let’s get real, sometimes I think: “fuck this shit!” It hurts. It’s scary and quite dangerous. Some of these stones are bigger than cars, many of them bigger than shopping carts, and at least half of them are sharp and unstable, and can send you stumbling when you step on them and they tip. I already have had a few bloody scrapes. But the views are so… continue reading