June 16: since I had decided to stop prior to Glen Pass yesterday, I was going to try to master two passes today: Glen and Pinchot Pass at 11,968 and 12,104 feet respectively. It was going to be a tough day!
First up-the pass that the guidebook said NOT to do early on the morning because it was REALLY icy and steep. And I was doing it early in their mind. Ok- let me say this- there is an awful lot of exaggeration alon the PCT. I do think hat on really high snow years, Glen Pass would be a bit arduous. But today, all the warnings were much ado about nothing. Glen Pass was fine.
On the other side of the pass, the trail descended into Ray Lakes- where the majority of the people I had hiked with yesterday had camped. The lakes were beautiful! And since I had worked up a sweat climbing and then descending the pass, I decided to jump in! And then I immediately decided to jump out! These high Sierra lakes are beautiful but freezing.
The other thing about the high Sierra lakes- they are mosquito infested! Water = Mosquitoes! They are really weird in the sierras, though. They are big, and they swarm, but they are really slow. You can usually swat them flat before they have a chance to bite. The fish sure like them, too. The fish are huge!
Then off to Pinchot Pass. While not a technically difficult pass, Pinchot did involve a long, gradual 4000 foot climb. It was long. And tiring. And toward the end, a bit frustrating. The trail meandered quite a bit before reaching the pass.
Fortunately, the views were spectacular!
I camped about 2 miles past Pinchot- I had originally planned on going 4 miles past the pass, but my legs were jello. And there was a beautiful water source- Lake Marjorie. And 8 or so other hikers there who convinced me that this was the place for all the cool kids to camp. So we all set up and had a little dinner party with our jet boils and pocket rockets and foil packers of Yuma and ramen. Life is good above 10,000 feet!
Peace, love, and trail magic!