Day 43: Glen and Pinchot Passes

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Mile 789 to mile 811.3 (22.3 miles, 35.8km)

Um, I thought I had written a blog entry for this day but can’t track it down. Seems I’m going to have to wrack the brain and remember some details from quite a days ago to share with you.

Oh that’s right this day lead me to Rae Lakes. How can I forget that. It has to be one of the most spectacular areas in the high Sierra.

I don’t recall Glen Pass being much of an issue in terms of snow. It couldn’t have been otherwise I would have stuck with the one pass for the day and not two.

I camped quite high to be as close to Glen Pass as possible and pick it off early in the morning. Nothing really stands out about the Pass itself.

I’ll let the photos of Rae Lakes do the talking. I should have taken many more.

I do recall reaching the suspension bridge over Woods Creek at around 11:30am, quite early in the day and deciding to have an early lunch and push to get over Pinchot Pass that afternoon. Shortly after the bridge reaching mile 800.

The climb towards Pinchot was tough. 7 miles of straight up from 8550ft to 12100ft, having just passed over Glen at 11950ft and dropped down again. It was a long an gruelling ascent, the altitude gain taking it’s toll and requiring frequent breaks. I’ve never felt nauseous with the altitude but two high passes in a day was always going to knock me around a little and require a slow steady pace.

Much of the upper reaches towards Pinchot were snow covered and required a bit of off track navigation to pick my way through rock bluffs and snow fields. Being late in the day the snow was really soft and slow going. I reached Pinchot Pass around 4:30pm and post holed my way through 2 miles of snow on the other side.

The views were amazing of course. Huge alpine lakes on the other side still littered with a thick layer of ice.

And more alpine meadows.

I pushed on until my body said no more.

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