JMT Day 14

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September 2, 2002 41º-59º @BSH

We left Evolution Lake at 8:00, and made our way up around it, Sapphire Lake and Wanda Lake (named after one of Darwin’s daughters). I thought to myself there was indeed camping available at these spots, and perhaps we could have gone further the day before, but none would have been so pleasant. (Here I am, and behind me Wanda Lake and Lake McDermand.) As we left Evolution Lake, we came upon a sign saying there might be a 9:00 a.m. “escort” to go through the fire zone at Palisade.

Wanda Lake
Me, in front of Wanda and McDermand lakes heading to Muir Pass

Made Muir Pass (11,955′)—and the famous Muir Hut—at 11:30; very nice scenery, a few other hikers at the top, including a couple with the man proclaiming he was “thru hiking the PCT in sections.” Whatever. Also, this couple had hired packers to carry all their stuff.

Me at the Muir Hut at Muir Pass
View from Muir Pass

We then began a rather long descent in what became a rather cloudy day.We finally arrived at the LeConte Ranger Station at around 5:00, and a sign there again indicated there may be a ranger escort the next morning so we went on to Grouse Meadows. Grouse Meadows was beautiful, even though there was obvious smoke coming up from the fire down the valley. Went to sleep a bit apprehensive about the following day.

Beyond Muir Pass
Grouse Meadows, next to fire zone

We’d done 13.6 miles that day, I’d done 137 for the trip. I thought about that total for a while and I was impressed. (!)