Day 10: Garnet Lake, Thousand Island Lake, and Island Pass

28 July 2020
JMT Ediza Lake Trail to Waugh Lake Trail
(7.8 miles, +2,200/-1,600 feet).

Well, the big group the surrounded us last night really upset Flower Power.  They were camped about 5 feet away from her and decided to have a very loud conversation from 4am to 5am and shine lights on her tent.  I feel really bad for her.  We’ll have to do a better job finding a campsite tonight where this won’t happen again.

Fortunately, today was an easy hiking day.  We decided to use some of our “bonus miles” spending time at spectacular Garnet Lake, Thousand Island Lake, and Island Pass.  I personally think it was an excellent choice!

We started the morning with a climb over the ridge above Garnet Lake.  Along the way we got fantastic views of the Minarets, Mount Ritter, and Banner Peak.

A big broccoli!
Mount Ritter
Sierra Primrose
First view of Garnet Lake
Ritter and Banner above Garnet Lake
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JimmyJam ZenMaster
2019.07.28 09.48.59
Now some “we” time
Reflection shot obsession
Garnet group shot

After Garnet there was another climb over a ridge where we passed two smaller lakes on the way to Thousand Island Lake.

Ruby Lake
Emerald Lake

When we got to Thousand Island Lake we were all hot, tired, and hungry, and I worried it would be crowded.  I looked for an off trail place to hang out to no avail, so we just plopped down at the first place where we could scrunch together under some krumholz on the shore.  Sure enough, the big group who invaded our space last night set up shop right across the shore about 100 feet away.  Sigh.

I swam, which made me feel better.  I also had a small bite to eat.  And then I went by myself to the JMT-PCT intersection where there is a fabulous view of Ritter and Banner across the lake.

Thousand Island Lake

Everyone caught up with me after lunch.  Finder went off to explore the lake, Flower Power went for a walk, Ulatrashuffle did laundry (of course!), and Bee’s Knees went to look for shade.  And Half Cookie stayed with me, which was lovely.

I know those feet!

Once Finder returned, we made our way up the short climb to Island Pass.  It was hard to stop taking photos of Thousand Island Lake.

Thousand Island Lake
2020.07.28 14.22.12
UltraShuffle and Bee’s Knees
And yet again!

Island Pass was amazing.  It’s the first place where everyone (even Half Cookie!) got in the water.  I felt the bliss of my lost teenager years, horsing around and whiling away the afternoon in the tarns at the summit.

Island Pass tarn
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With Banner reflection!
And paintbrush
A picture of UltraShuffle NOT jumping in
That’s better!

To make the afternoon even more bucolic, we were joined by several yellow-legged frogs who seemed completely unconcerned with our presence.

Yeah, I’m not movin’
There goes UltraShuffle again with his bride
Even Half Cookie got in!
Napping like reptiles
Wait, is she still breathing?

We had way too much fun, and it would have been a nice place to camp, but we wanted to get a little closer to Donahue Pass for tomorrow, so we continued down to Rush Creek to look for a campsite.

View down to Rush Creek

We did not find much on the JMT itself, and when we got a little past Rush Creek we banged into the big group again.  Double sigh.

We backtracked and went across to the Waugh Lake Trail where we found a lovely private site up on a ridge right near the water.  Half Cookie and I set up on the lower level and everybody else was up high, where we hung out for dinner and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.


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