29 July 2020
JMT from Waugh Lake Trail to Ireland Lake Trail (10.4 miles, +1,800/-2,500 feet).
We slept really well last night to the tune of Rush Creek, undisturbed by human visitors.
We enjoyed breakfast and a sunrise and were on our way.
We encountered the large group that camped ahead of us right away and soon our own group was kind of caught up in their long train. Bees Knees was especially concerned about getting ahead of them.
But soon we would never see them again, as they (mistakenly) turned off to Marie Lakes. The last person in their line asked us for directions and discovered the mistake, but their first person was so far ahead that they may still be waiting to regroup for all we know!
We returned to solitude for the rest of the day, enjoying the stunning scenery above tree line on both sides of Donahue Pass.
At the pass itself we took a nice break and I wandered off to explore an off-trail lake,
The lakes below Lyell Glacier on the other side of Donahue Pass were spectacular! I swam in the higher one and we lunched at the lower one. I will definitely have to come back to explore some time.
After lunch we went down, down, down into Lyell Canyon itself.
At one point a group of twenty-something dudes told us they “found” a first aid kit and asked us to take it to a ranger. I don’t know why I agreed to carry another pound for the day, but I did.
Turns out it was full of acid tabs! Oops. At least it also had some nice Nuun tablets, too. Half Cookie really enjoyed those….
At the intersection with Ireland Creek we started looking for campsites that could not be crashed by the large group and about a quarter mile past the trail intersection UltraShuffle found a perfect spot, complete with laundromat and City Pool.