JMT – Day 10 – From Pinchot Pass to tentsite above Palisade lake, mile 819

Aug 4.

Got up with the others around 615am. My morning procedure is different though – I always pack all my gear and break down my tent before sitting down for breakfast. We enjoyed breakfast together with a beautiful view down the valley that we had hiked up the day before. My breakfast was bigger than normal: besides one little bag Quaker’s oatmeal, I had a big cup Swiss chocolate and instant coffee mixed together. My cold is still there and weakening me – but that hot cup helped a bit. Horacio’s hiking buddy is suffering from the same symptoms like me… She was coughing all night as well and lives of Ibuprofen. I am glad that I have been able to only take an Ibuprofen at night if I can’t sleep at all – like last night.

I left camp around 715am, the others were still packing their stuff. I completed the missing 1000 feet to the 12100 feet / 4000 meter Pinchot pass until 8am.

A small break, enjoying the morning quietness and being the first on the pass this morning.

A German couple from Bavaria came up the pass SOBO. We exchanged same trail hints. According to them, the South Fork river crossing had not been too difficult and just knee deep. That’s good information. I had been planning already to avoid the crossing and go bushwhacking for 2.5 miles as it is indicated in the water report. I will decide when I get there.

Morning 10 am break at mile 810. A couple of river crossings today, but the South Fork should be the most challenging one.

Crossing was manageable. Took lunch with Horacio and later also Rachel from 11am to 12pm. Now come 2000 feet up to Mather pass. Would still like to go over today if I feel ok.

Made it to the top of Mather at 3.15pm – not too bad. Now let’s see how going down the Northern side will be.

Going down through some snowfields, sometimes climbing over rocks due to the trail completely covered in snow… It was a bit tricky but doable. Next time I would do it a bit earlier in the day. The snow was not only very soft and wet but was close before giving in even more for postholing.

I picked a site at mile 819 for tonight around 530 pm – pretty late considering the last days. But today were two passes and a bit more than 13 miles. Definitely more than I had planned. That leaves 60 miles and 5 days of food to the next planned resupply stop at Vermillion Valley resort (VVR).

Muir pass is 19 miles from here, so definitely not striking distance for tomorrow. I need to see how close I can get – want to make it over the pass not too late the day after tomorrow.

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