Day 4: Sapphire Lake to Big Pete Meadow 9.5 miles, 1300 ft elevation gain
Day 4 I began with a climb up to Muir Pass. I had already camped at ~11,000 ft so it was only another 1000 ft to the top, but at this altitude there is still huffing and puffing involved. Already above the tree line, the terrain is rocky and barren, but beautiful. I walked past Wanda Lake before climbing. At the top of the pass (11,975′) also sits Muir Hut which is also pretty cool.
Finally day 4 of our Alaskan multi sport adventure brought clear blue skies and a bright warm sun. After breakfast we hiked to Davidson Glacier. After hiking through thick forest we came to the flat sandy moraine where the Davidson glacier river flows. We walked across the glacial sand to the rocks and boulders where we climbed to get good views of the glacier. It towered hundreds above us, the turquoise glacial ice peaking through, and the river commencing beneath and roaring past us. It was magnificent.
I went on a multi sport high adventure trip to southeast Alaska with my son in July 2018. We really experienced Alaska. No cruise ships or easy tourist excursions for us. We did it native style…with all the cold the wet the physical and the bruises that entailed.
Day 19: 11.2 miles, 207.4 cumulative, Guitar Lake to Outpost Camp (10,370′)
This was the day. We would summit Mt. Whitney and complete the John Muir Trail. The culmination of months of planning and weeks of hiking. In the end we would climb 3000′ and descend 4000′ in one long and glorious day. I was elated to have made it this far, nervous about the climb to come, ready to have real food and a shower, and sad to be at the end of an incredible journey. Wow! Lots of emotions there…