Day 39: Rivers Run Through It

Mile reached: 802.6 (+13.6 + 7.3)

High: Even though it was late when I reached Glenn Pass, the snow was still in decent condition such that I only postholed a little bit.

Low: There were mosquitoes out at my campsite. Cowboy camping may be coming to an end.

It was going to be an early morning, because my dad was going to hike with me up to Kearsarge Pass. However, he was recovering from a bout of bronchitis and didn’t feel up to it. So, I slept in a little bit longer.

At the trailhead we said goodbye, and he offered to give a ride down to two hikers that had been waiting since the previous day. The climb up was surprisingly enjoyable as the sun wasn’t hot enough yet and the scenery was still impressive. From the pass, I dropped down slightly and made the couple mile traverse back over to the trail.

The dry eastside slope leading up to Kearsarge Pass. I chased a young buck much of the way up!

Once back on the trail, it climbed aggressively with a rocky tread up to Glen Pass. This pass too was largely melted out, though there were several snowfields that needed to be navigated around. The north side was a different story. It held snow all the way to the Rae Lakes. For the most part, this was actually pleasant, because I was able to glissade for hundreds of vertical feet.

Looking back at Glenn Pass above Rae Lakes
Another beautiful lake!

All of this north side snow meant that there was lots of water. Repeatedly, there were lake outlets and creeks that needed to be crossed. The trail itself was easily submerged waist deep in a few instances. Sometimes, I’d get lucky and find some creative way to hop across, but frequently I’d have to get wet. Fortunately, most of my stuff dries quickly, even my shoes!

That is the trail…
Where’s the trail?

Well into the afternoon, I had finished my descent down to Woods Creek. At this time of year it’s a veritable river, but the park service has built a suspension bridge over it. It would be quite dangerous to cross otherwise.

Cool bridge. Surprisingly, crossing it was a little exciting.

Before I could get to camp, there was one more creek I had to cross. Last year, I knew that this one had been a problem at times. At the deepest part I was up to my thighs in swift moving water but still clambered to safety. In retrospect, I don’t think that I’d want to cross anything deeper than that at the same flow.

The trail paralleled an extended waterfall for a while.
Camp was right next to the waterfall.

The campsite was beautiful, and I got there all before sunset for a change! So, I did end up going to sleep a little early hoping that the mosquitoes would be foiled by my down quilt and jacket.

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