Climbing up the Kearsarge trail from Onion Valley was easier than coming down, and the descent was also much more pleasant than it had been in the heat of the afternoon when we were heading out. We took the miles past Kearsarge Lakes pretty fast, knowing we also had to get up and over Glen Pass before the end of the day.
Glen Pass was incredibly beautiful with views over Alpine lakes and forests, but also incredibly challenging. The trail is very rocky and the rocks were huge. It’s not so much an issue on the way up, although big steps are hard on my knees, but on the way down it’s slightly treacherous! It took an hour to get a mile and a quarter down the steepest part of the slope! In one of the breaks it occurred to me that hiking and camping are really not my favourite things to do! But I love being out in the wilderness areas with the sound of silence and the views over mountains with so much history to contemplate. I get a sense of insignificance in the universe, and the only way to get here is with the hiking and the camping. So be it.
At the base of Glen Pass, the trail winds through Rae Lakes. There are jumping fish, marmots and squirrels, and chipmunks. And of course mosquitoes. Ugh. The resupply for almost 7 days of food wouldn’t fit in the best canisters so we had to find a bear box to stow the excess for the night. We made camp a little way from the lake after what felt like a long day but was in fact only 13 miles. Pinchot Pass tomorrow.
Miles: 6 + 7.5 Kearsarge trail
Camping: Mile 795, Rae Lakes