Everyday we set a goal to have an end point in mind. Today we thought somewhere near Red's Meadow. Amazingly, my body seemed to be holding up, all the normal complaints of civilized life were absent, my back was fine, my knee, my hips, all the usual joint complaints. Sleeping 10 hours seems to be a good idea.
Breakfast today was scrambled eggs with cheese... which was very good, a sort of calorie bomb much appreciated. Now routine, we packed quickly and took off on the trail.
Our descent down to Rush Creek Trail junction went quickly, then the climb up to Island Pass, 10,200', didn't really seem like too much. The descent treated us to views of Mt. Banner and Ritter, and Thousand Island Lake.
We'd hit a whole series of lakes today, which means dropping down to lake level and climbing over the ridge that separates it from the next lake. Each time great views of where you have been, and where you were going.
At the mouth of Thousand Island Lakes the JMT splits off from the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) which departs more directly to Devil's Post Pile. We had some snacks just off the trail above Emerald Lake. I actually ate some lunch for the first time in 4 days! Then back to hiking, passing Ruby Lake and up to the next pass at 10,100'.
This was also quite tolerable, and we were up and over and descending to Garnet Lake quickly.
On the way down as we passed a couple of backpackers I thought I recognized the pack one of them was wearing. I turned around and asked
"Is that an Alpinlite pack?"
and the guy replies "Yes!"
He's an older guy, and it turns out that he believes Alpinlites are the best packs for long trips. He buys them off of eBay, and the one he was wearing looked quite new.
I recognized the pack because I worked at Alpinlite when I was in High School my senior year, which would be 1971. The pack he had was a later model, but the distinctive aluminum external frame was basically the same. I had an Alpinite on my first JMT attempt. We chatted a little bit, I really had none of the information he was looking for, like what had happened to the company. His hiking partner asked me just where the "factory" was, all I can remember was some very old buildings next to the railroad tracks downtown Claremont. I'm sure those buildings don't exist anymore. Apparently they had moved to Ventura at some point after I went off to college.
It was amazing to see that pack, a relic of the past that I had some connection to in a real way.
We hiked a short distance to the bridge, took a break, and then started to climb out once again, over yet another 10,100' pass.
Getting over this next pass we dropped into the valley containing Shadow Lake, first picking up Shadow Creek. Hitting the Edzila Lake trail junction we were getting a bit warm, and a bit farther along the trail we stopped.
I doused myself in the creek while Steph filtered water. We were using a Platypus GravityWorks filter, which I consider a huge advance over the old hand pumped filter. I was cooled off and ready to roll. Down a bit farther the trail junction to Agnew Meadows turns off at the bridge across the creek. Shadow Lake is at an altitude of 8800' and we had to go back up to about 9400' to get to Rosalie Lake.
Most of this climb is in the shade of the pine forest, but it is a lot of altitude gain in a short distance 600' in a mile. Once again I went to a very deliberate pace, an hour later we were over the pass and headed for Rosalie Lake.
Our daily schedule was evolving to roughly 9 to 10 hours of hiking a day, and stopping around 5pm. And when we got to the lake we decided to stop. Gladys Lake would have been a better place, fewer people, and probably better tasting water.
By the time we dropped off to sleep, all the camping spots seemed to have been occupied.
We did 12 miles this day, gained 2470' and lost 3279', click the link for the day 4 kml file.
Please respect the ©2016 Ed Hartouni for all the material on this website. If you are interested in using any of this material please contact me.