Day 42 mile 716.5 – 735.4

Elevation: ascent 4,870 ft, descent 2,047 ft

It was definitely colder last night being at elevation but without the wind we all slept really well. No one set an alarm but we knew we would wake up with the sun. So just like clock work around 5:30 Double Down and I were up, with Matt not far behind. No one was in a rush to leave this morning as we really enjoyed taking it all in by the river.

After breakfast and coffee we slowly made our way back up to camp as we needed to break down tents and pack up our packs. Matt was generous to offer to take out our trash, which is a huge treat, so we don’t have to lug that around. We even suggested he “Dangle” it from his pack if it didn’t fit in the inside 🤣. He was such a great addition to the group and we both loved that he was able to join us. At 8:30 it was time for us to part ways so we said goodbye as Double Down and I headed up the trail.

This morning was a large climb up to 10,500 feet in the first 8 miles and we both commented on how surprised we were that our packs weren’t killing us from all the extra weight.

On the climb up we started to see a lot of large Ponderosa Pines which provided some welcomed shade. We even had to cross this little stream at least 10 times which is more water crossings (cache/spring) than we had all of last week. So nice to not have to plan your entire day around water sources. Plus the water is so cold, clear and tastes amazing. With the reduced number of hikers we are noticing increased encounters with animals. We had two different deer sightings, mountain grouse, marmots and increased bird activity. The views as we climbed changed as well. There were more snow capped peaks, meadows and forests that we got to look down upon as we climbed higher. We absolutely loved all of these new sights and sounds!

Stopping for lunch today we found ourselves surrounded by snow patches. We know snow will be inevitable the next couple of weeks but are thankful for the patches which are easy to navigate for now. It appears our decision to rest at home for a bit may have paid off allowing this snow to melt. This is also allowing us to enjoy our new surroundings since we at so focused at looking at our feet.

We got to Death Canyon Creek at about 4:00, which is where we had thought about setting up camp. The site however had quite a few mosquitoes and there wasn’t much of a view. So we decided to have an early dinner, clean up and move on. We figured we had 4 more hours of daylight and just sitting in a tent didn’t feel right to either of us. So we headed off figuring our legs would tell us when to stop but we also had a destination over looking Owens Valley if we could get there.

We got a few more views of Mt Whitney off in the distance as we climbed. We hope to be able to summit Whitney in a few days. With the cooler temps later in the day and higher elevation it made it easier to hike and we found ourselves at the tent site we hoped to get to at 7:00. Looks like we could have a nice sunrise in the morning.

Tomorrow will find us climbing up to around 11,000 feet so we are anticipating more snow but we will see as there are mixed reports out there. Thanks for following along. Link