Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 3, 2011

Start: 908
End: 923

Today we slept in, which was much needed after our adventures in Mammoth. We hit the trail at 8:20am, moving slowly.

A couple miles into hiking for the day we came to Minaret Creek. Usually this creek has a log bridge across it, but when we arrived only one side of the bridge was attached to land, with the other side being pulled downstream by the current. 12 Ounce and I found a place by the bridge that looked like a good place to cross, not too deep and solid granite slabs to walk on. We started across together using the group crossing technique, but it turns out that when granite is underwater it is quite slippery, especially when you are waist deep in the stream. We slipped off the granite we were walking on, down to the river bed, and chest deep in the water. We quickly decided to turn around, got out of the creek, and decided to look for another place to cross. Definitely the scariest crossing attempt I have had and a reinforcement of the idea that we should skip ahead past the creek crossings that are actually considered dangerous/impassable.

The rest of the day was quite nice. We climbed up in elevation and then meandered up and down as we passed by Trinity Lakes, Gladys Lake, Shadow Lake, Garnett Lake, Ruby Lake, Emerald Lake, and Thousand Island Lake.

Along the hike today we encountered a number of other hikers, most out for a weekend trip, but a few doing the JMT as well. It's easy to tell that they are not PCT hikers because they have packs bigger than ours and wear full height waterproof boots. One of the hikers made a comment about our shoes (mesh-top trail running shoes), to which we responded that gore-Tex boots only add to the problem of wet feet because once water is in them, it doesn't drain out as readily. It's always interesting talking with them, and knowing that not too long ago that was me as well.

Coming down to Ruby Lake was particularly nice since we had an amazing glissade! It was the fastest (steepest) and we dropped at least 100' vertical in what felt like about 5 seconds, but was probably longer.

12 Ounce and I ended up stopping at Thousand Island Lake for the night, while Gangsta Rap and Timex wanted to do a couple more miles so they headed off after they ate dinner. The lake itself was frozen over, but the islands could be seen as they bulged up out of the lake and were dotted with trees. We enjoyed sunset and the view from our campsite overlooking the lake and then went to sleep when it got dark.

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