Friday, June 18, 2010

Day 53: Mile 833 (19)

Location: Big Pete Meadow

Today was a great day for scenery. Last night we camped at 10600 and
woke up with frozen shoes. We had to pour water on them to thaw them,
only to watch them freeze again shortly after. At about 6 we were on
the trail and heading the final two miles to Mather pass. The climb
up was very icy and steep. Probably the trickiest ascent yet. We all
used our axes and made it up without issue. On the backside it was
still too cold to glisade which made for some tough descending. I
slipped once and actually got to self-arrest with my ice axe. A bit
scary, but I never panicked like I did when I fell in the river ford.
After the descent, we were welcomed with over ten miles of beautiful
hiking on exposed trail through stunning sections. I took over fifty
pictures and even snapped one of my first bear. We are camping in a
meadow tonight with deer grazing across from us. Looking around
tonight, I can say that this is some of the best scenery I've ever had
around me. Tomorrow we hit muir pass after 5 miles and so will end
our time over 11,000 feet. After that, we have a few lower passes at
about 11k and mammoth is in less than 75 miles.

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