13 August 2022
Bubbs Creek to Tyndall Creek
(11 miles, +3,200/-2,200 feet).
We all got good sleep last night and it looks like another dry day. But we have a very long 7 mile uphill climb ahead of us, so time to get started!
We got a very nice break at some campsites near 11,200 feet. I’ll have to come back here!
After the break we crossed a big flat area before continuing to climb.
At 11,600 feet we stopped for water. A big group was there, and several people from a “Sierra Challenge” who were doing 30+ mile day hikes today passed through as well.
After that we left most of the green behind as we continued the climb.
There’s no photographic evidence, but I *did* take a swim here:
After a refreshing break, we made a final push for the pass.
At 13,200 feet, Forester Pass is the highest point on the Pacific Crest Trail, and the highest point on the John Muir Trail until you reach Trail Pass and the summit of Mount Whitney itself. Even though we have already been out several days, we can feel the thinness of the air up here.
We quickly ducked around to the southern side of the pass and found a nook to have lunch and enjoy the view.
Soon it was time to depart. The rest of the day is downhill, but it will take some time to get through all these rocks!
Near the top of Forester Pass on the south side is the dreaded “chute” which is often snow covered and scary to cross. In this very dry year, it was nothing but rocks, but the steepness was definitely vertigo-inducing!
There is a memorial at the base of the switchbacks to a 19 year old who died building the switchbacks.
We collected water and rested at the first lake below the pass.
The basin below Forester Pass was really pretty. This was the first time I had seen it without snow!
Clouds started to gather, threatening more rain, but we hardly got more than a sprinkle the rest of the afternoon.
At one point we headed towards a lake that’s not on the USGS map. I guess a swamp has temporarily filled up from the monsoon!
There were a lot of people camped near Tyndall Creek crossing, but we were able to find a secluded spot. It even had a kitchen table!
What a great day! Tomorrow we set up for Whitney. Nighty night!