2 Miles before Mather Pass to Bishop trail junction – 16 miles (25km) – 830 miles total
We had a sleep in today. We left at 3am being so close to the pass. However, it took us over 2 hours to do the 2 miles to the pass. The first mile was easy across snow fields to the base of the pass. Then the fun began. We couldn’t find any footsteps kicked in to the snow like every other pass, so we found our own route up, with K kicking in steps for us. It took a while to both kick in the steps and to clear each rocky section we got to. As we waited for each person to climb the section so that we didn’t accidentally send a rock down onto the person below. It was tough going at times. With some of the foot holds to far apart for me to easily reach and leverage myself up, so I had to kick in a few of my own steps. Similar with the rocky sections. There were times my feet couldn’t reach the next rock so, I’d often use my knee and leverage myself up to then get a foot hold. Once at the top we could see the path others had taken. Some had tried to come in from the right, but got turned around, others went straight up further over to the left and then traversed along up high to get to the ridge.
The traverse down was better than yesterday. It was still sun cupped but not as bad and I could walk along it easier. There was a traverse along the edge of a lake and then steep switchbacks down, when the snow finally stopped. However, this is when the fun began for me. I was just talking about the fact at the top of the switchbacks that my bag was starting to fall apart and I’d need to try and repair it. As I traversed the switchbacks I had to butt scoot down some steep rocky parts to avoid some snow. As I did this I ripped the arse out of my rain pants and one of the side pockets of my bag totally ripped apart sending my tent flying and poles to come apart. I managed to collect all the pieces of the tent poles and will hopefully put them back together at camp. Apparently gear does not last for two thru hikes like I’d hoped.
The rest of the day was pretty chill. We went under 10000ft, which meant snow free trail and walking like a normal person again. Tonight we are camped just before the trail to Bishop pass which will take us out to the town of Bishop to resupply. I am so excited for a shower and laundry.
Today I am thankful for K’s mountaineering skills.