Hikers: Jack, Ken, Kat, Adan, Dylan and Casey
Day 1: 8.9 miles
Roads End to Upper Paradise Valley
el. 5,035 to 6,940 (climb 1,905 ft)
Day 2: 13.6 miles
Up to Rae Lakes
el. 10,538 (climb 3,598 ft)
Day 3: 8.8 miles
Up to Glen Pass (el. 11,978) then down to Junction Meadow (el. 8,170)
Climb 1,440 ft then descend 3,808 ft
Day 4: 10.1 miles
Down to Roads End
el. 5,035 (descend 3,135 ft)
Day 1: Adan, Kat and Dylan lounging in Lower Paradise Valley at an epic swimming hole. Everyone was AWESOME and I feel lucky to have been part of this great trip and gotten the opportunity to get to know them. As subsequent photos will show, we spent a lot of time relaxing in or near the water, but this was my favourite spot on the first day. However, swimming with the "snakes" near the bridge at Upper Paradise Valley was also pretty fun.
Day 2: Casey on the toilet near the Wood's Creek suspension bridge. Hooray for backcountry toilets.
Day 2: Casey, Adan and Kat between Wood's Creek and Dollar Lake.
Day 2: Adan diving into Dollar Lake (see photo photo below by Kat).
Day 2: Since mosquitoes were few and far between (none of us used DEET or head nets for the entire trip), I cowboy camped at Rae Lakes in this spot with the Painted Lady in the background. In the middle of the night I awoke to find my sleeping bag covered with dew, but it was bone dry by morning. The dew did not collapse the loft or affect the warmth of the sleeping bag.
Day 3: Casey, Dylan and Adan in an unnamed lake at elevation 11,500 ft on the north side of Glenn Pass. At 12,000 feet, Glenn Pass is visible at the top of the photo. We didn't just pose for pictures, but actually swam in the lake, and the experience was spiritual.
Day 3: Dylan, on top of Glenn Pass, pointing to the lake we swam in on the north side of Glenn Pass, in the previous photo.
Day 3: Casey on Glenn Pass with Rae Lakes in the background. To protect my neck and ears against the sun, I wore a dish towel under my visor. With this setup, along with a white, long sleeve synthetic shirt and running shorts, I was able to forgo sunscreen for the entire trip, however I did get a bit red in some areas.
Day 3: Kat, Jack and Dylan on Glenn Pass. After having a rough time on days 1 and 2, Jack came back strong on days 3 and 4, leading the pack up the pass. Right on Jack! During the hike up to the pass, we met a 70-year-old Norwegian man hiking in racing flats! We also were passed by two people running the 41.4 mile loop in a single day! Also on the pass, we met a woman hiking the JMT who didn't know how to read her maps.
Day 3: Dylan and Casey in a lake at elevation 11,500 feet on the south side of Glenn Pass. The pass, at elevation 12,000 feet, is visible at the top of the photo. Casey was so excited to get in this lake, he literally ran down to it from the pass.
Day 3: Adan and Dylan in the sandy wash at elevation 11,000 feet. Go left to Kearsarge Pass, right to Charlotte Lake and straight ahead to Vidette Meadow.
Day 3: Casey in Vidette Meadow, unable to control the urge.
Day 3: Casey sliding above Vidette Meadow at the Death Falls.
Day 3: Casey in the Death Falls spa, above Junction Meadow.
Day 3: Casey standing at the top of the Death Falls. That's my unofficial name for it since, as you can see, if you fall, you die.
Day 3: Casey in the river sitting on a submerged rock, with the photo taken looking up Bubb's creek. When we arrived at this spot, an elderly man was sitting, naked as I am, on the rock. He, a retired USGS Geologist from Menlo Park, has come to the Sierra's every year for the last 65 years, missing only three years during that span due to wars. For his first 50 years, he never treated or carried any water and never got sick. He also said that, during that time period, stock was much more prevalent than it is now.
Day 3: Adan, Jack, Dylan and Kat played with fire-steel, for fun, during camp on the last night. Despite 2 hours of continuous attempts, and very dry conditions, they were unable to start a fire using natural tinder from the area.
Day 3: Alpenglow was no match for the OCD that overcame the group while trying to start a fire with the fire-steel.
Day 4: Hiking out on the last day, between two very large boulders.
Day 4: Kat and Dylan at the top of the switchbacks, in smoke due to a nearby fire.
Day 4: We saw two bears on the hike out. This particular bear was in the middle of the switchbacks, only 30 feet from us. We also saw bears on the first day, including a Mama and Baby, but were not able to get photos.
Day 4: The hike ends at noon. From the left we have Jack, Adan, Kat, Dylan and Casey.