Sunrise, Christmas Day 2010
Sky pilot/polemonium. Only grows at high altitude. It's an amazing plant that grows in what looks like desolate, dead rocky terrain. These bursts of color were everywhere lining the trail to the Whitney summit - I've never seen so much.
Late afternoon Precipice
We kept our camp in the same place on Day 4 and chose to dayhike to some remote lakes. In the morning we went up to Nydiver Lakes, and after lunch we went up to Iceberg lake.
GPS track of today's hike placed on a map. Original (Larger) image available upon request.
Today's hike and Profile
My comical feet: Dirty Girl Gaiters (http://www.dirtygirlgaiters.com/) and a brand spankin new pair of Injinji toe socks (http://www.injinji.com/), now available in rainbow colors!
Today's map and elevation profile - from camp, over Donohue Pass, by Rush Creek, over Island Pass, and down to camp at Thousand Island Lake.
We dropped a car at Mammoth Mountain Inn and took the YARTS bus to Tuolumne. $8 for the one-way ride - not a bad deal! Took about 2 hours.
A single patch of polemonium (sky pilot) on Bloody
Once across the flats we followed the gentlest ridge to the summit ridge. Had to dodge cactus the whole way - there was quite a variety up here.
Map of our track to Mildred Lake and then up Baldwin.
Sam finds that his map is multi-purpose
Lower big Five Lakes
Junction to Muir Lake. Cirque Peak (left) and Army Point (middle-right)
On the hike back we found a use trail and were able to avoid going up and over the false summit again. We also were rewarded with a few gnarly bristlecones.
We met up with Joe, sooz, and Navi at Hilltop hotspring
Me, all bundled up in my fleece and GoreTex
Today's track and profile
We woke to a cloudy morning on Darwin Bench, but it made for a beautiful sunrise.
St Mary's Pass trailhead, just below Sonora Pass
Day 2's GPS track from 9 Mile to Precipice. The yellow camera icons indicate our rest stops. From left to right: Bearpaw Camp, the waterfall, and Hamilton Lake.
Double order of fish tacos for lunch at Whoa Nellie!
Reflection at Shadow Lake
Sunrise over the Minarets
Minarets and meadows before Iceberg Lake
But before the day's hiking could start, we had a yummy brookie breakfast courtesty of fisherman david.
Just when it looked like we were going to get pummeled, the storms started to clear. I spent about 10 minutes inside the tent after feeling a couple of rain drops, but nothing more fell.
Small pool along the shore
Looking south down Lyell canyon - in the direction we're hiking. Rodgers Peak, Mount Lyell, Mount Maclure (from left to right)
Fall colors along the road to Sabrina
Fall colors at North Lake
Langley (left), LeConte and Corcoran (center), and Lone Pine Peak (right).
Whether one summits or not, one must seek out comfort at a local brewery after such an annoying peak.
Baldwin! One of my favorite climbs.
Looking down on Laurel Lake and the road we drove in. Mono Lake in the distance.