September 1, 2002 41º-59º @BSH
A 7:30 start and relatively easy 1,000′ ascent to Evolution Valley. Except for the spot where I fell into the river. One crossing was hard to find, I took a route across which relied on me stepping on a few small balanced rocks. Well, they weren’t so well balanced, and I fell in. I sat gasping in the near-freezing rushing river for a few seconds as I tried to extricate myself. Finally, I got up, walked the rest of the way across, and found a rock to sit on, take my shoes and socks off, change my socks, and continue on. Todd wisely scouted the river a bit more and found a safer place to cross; which he did.
We reached Evolution Meadow, and it was indeed as beautiful as advertised.
At the ranger station there (McClure Meadow) we searched for a note on the fire, but there was none. We hoped that was good news. A sign on the door indicated the ranger was gone for a couple of days. After an extended break there we continued on to exit the Valley and hit Evolution Lake. The trail through the valley was surprisingly tough, repeated elevation gains and losses. Seemed harder than one would think. At the upper end of the meadow, we saw what appeared to be a rather large horse pack outfit on the other side. We then turned and ascended out of the valley; the 880′ ascent was actually not too tough. We passed several dry lakes and then hit Evolution Lake, a spectacular alpine lake. We chose a site on the lower side, stopping a bit early (about 2:15) as there was supposedly no camping for the next few miles.
This lake is quite scenic. Todd swam, and I walked along a bit of the lake and shot some pictures (and here). We noticed a bit more cloud buildup in the afternoon than usual.