JMT – Days 7 – 8, Beer and Bear Ridge

 

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Day 7: 7.3 miles hiked, 74 cumulative, Silver Pass Lake to VVR (7600′)

This day would take us to Vermillion Valley Resort. It is a remote back country resort that is super friendly to thru hikers. A ferry picks up hikers on the east side of Edison Lake twice a day and ferries them across, so we had until 4pm to get to the pick up spot.

We had our daily routine down, but we were never fast movers in the morning. It was light by 5:30 am and I was awake by 6:00 every day. By 6:30 I was usually up to relieve myself and would start boiling water. I had coffee and Nathan had hot chocolate, if only to warm up and get us going. It was always cold in the mornings, our down puffy jackets and wool beanies a must for exiting the tent. We studied the map while we ate breakfast, deciding how far we would go and where we would try and camp that night. Mentally preparing for hard climbs or rivers crossings. Then we would pack up and be on our way by 8-ish.

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JMT – Days 5 – 6, Mules and Mountain Man

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Day 5: 12.7 miles hiked, 59.2 cumulative, Crater Meadow to Lake Virginia (10,330′)

We had planned on camping at Purple Lake, but passing hikers told us Lake Virginia was really gorgeous so that’s where we headed. This day held no great mountain passes for us, but it did offer us nearly 3000′ of elevation gain over the day. It was really our first hard day, and I found it really difficult. I learned that I don’t really enjoy endless climbs. I am slow and always out of breath. Nathan would hike ahead, then rest while I caught up. Then we would repeat 900 times. But always there would be extraordinary views to reward us and the pain of the climb would be (somewhat) forgotten.

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