Day 9: Garnet Lake

I was not eager to emerge from the cozy confines of my little pyramid-tent this morning. The crisp air – carrying the coldest temperature of the trip thus far – wasn’t penetrating my quilt. Being encapsulated it it, with my head hidden inside the puffy hood of my anorak, gave a rather pleasant feeling of…

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Day 8: Davis Lakes

I awoke well before dawn this morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. So I grabbed my camera, walked around, and practiced shooting the pre-dawn light, with which I have little experience, save perhaps a few “end of the night” portraits back at Washington State in the early 1990s. Since we were back on the eastern…

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Day 7: A Sierra High(er) Route

My favorite part about Roper’s Sierra High Route is the vision he had to create a timberline trek that minimized the effort required to confidently enjoy such spectacular and reasonably comfortable, if not rather intimidating terrain. More important, he gave people the confidence to leave the trail, and perhaps, do a little exploring of their…

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Day 5: Rest and Recharge at Ritter

Today we remain at the same camp in the Ritter Lakes Basin, where we have observed the Sabbath and enjoyed a reprieve from carrying heavy packs. We are camped at 11,000 feet or I which makes a nice jumping off point from which to explore even higher places. So after breakfast, I climbed along the…

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Day 3: Island Time

I awoke again early (but no alarm this time) to sunrise alpenglow on the peaks surrounding our camp. I lazily shoved my camera out my tent and randomly snapped a few uncomposed photographs, and then went back to sleep. The sun’s warmth once again woke me up so I threw my quilt to the side,…

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Day 2: In the Shadow of the Minarets

I awoke to a light breeze whistling its tune across the peak of my little pyramid shelter sometime in the middle of the night. I peeked out the open roof created by having both doors rolled open and saw a zillion stars along with the creamy smudge of our galaxy in the sky. Content to…

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Day 1: Minaret Lake

Late this morning, my son Chase, my friend Daniel, and I left Devil’s Postpile packed with 10 days of provisions and started making our way towards the Sierra Crest. The temperatures were hot, winds were unrelentingly absent, the trail was dry and dusty. That is to say that the summer Sierra forest, replete with towering…

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Introduction: Navigating the High Sierra

In less than a week, I’ll be leaving for a 10-day trek through the High Sierra south of Yosemite. As we plan route options, we do so first by looking at the Sierra crest, then by looking at weaknesses across that crest. Our route will criss-cross through those weaknesses. We hope to stay off trail…

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Day 11: Exit / Green River Lakes

It was a muggy, rainy night and mosquitoes by the hundreds were positioned and waiting on the outside of the mesh of my inner tent. With the cold, wind, and altitude of the past several days, we’d hardly seen a mosquito since leaving Spider Lake 9 days ago. Now, back in the woods at just…

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Day 10: Tourist Creek

As idyllic as the upper basin of Tourist Creek is, we have discovered all the more reason why it will forever remain a special place to us. The very remote entrance from the top is protected by an approach requiring travel over crevassed glaciers and descent of a gully choked with snow, talus, and unstable…

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Day 9: Wind River Glaciers

I began brewing coffee at 4:45 AM this morning so I had a little incentive to get up early to enjoy the distant orange glow of the clear sky sunrise out my open tent door. The rest of the Crew started stirring an hour later, and we quickly packed up camp and made our last…

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Day 8: Gannett Peak

Our approach to Gannett Peak came from the south (via Bonney Pass) – we are on an eleven-day expedition where a Gannett summit attempt was only one objective. We are weaving a high route from Spider Lake (via Elkhart Park) to Baker Lake (exiting via Green River Lakes), so in addition to our attempts on…

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