Saturday, August 15, 2009

Day 2 part 3 )

(I hit send to fast last time, again, so refer to part one for the photos).

 See the photos from part one (previous post).

 We left the stream and headed to what is certainly one of the prettier backcountry lakes around: Hamilton Lake. You have dome climbing to do
 to reach the lake and first you pass what I think of as Lower Hamilton Lake (photo 4). Hamilton Lake is very pretty and probably sported. Great swimming had we taken the time to swim. It was a fine place to rest for a bit and gather strength for the 200 foot climb to Kaweah Gap ( this on top of the 1000 foot climb from Lone Pine creek earlier). The climb bid exposed and makes the ascent in little more than two miles. Fortunately their are streams along the way and a couple lakes. But it is s tough slog. Draining. Tiring. It must be brutal for trail crews who hail jackhammers up to break rocks and improve trail. We saw just suvh a crew perhaps a third of the way up.

 Reaching the unnamed tarn was a nice place to stop though getting water would have been tough. On we went up and up. Somewhere I got confused andistook the uphill trail for what I'd just walked and failed to see the actual trail. I just saw a rock outcrop that kinda had potential. I was phlomuxed and zandy and Konrad came back down looking for me. I should have realized my error but did not. We lost a good hour on my mistake and Andy and Konrad had to come track me down. We got to Precipice Lake which is a fine deep dark clear yarn that I could see being a good place to camp ad long as you don't mind camping under the stars sans shelter. We still had a few hundred feet to climb to the gap before hiking the 3,4 or so miles to Nig Arroyo Junction. It was about 6:20PM. The walk through the valley was actually quite nice ad the sun colored the mountains in front of us (photo 2). The walkng went on and on and the light faded from dusk to dark and we stilll weren't at the campsite. Wr slowed down so as not to miss the turn and so I could hike safely in the dark. It was quite something to pull our tired legs into camp and find Matt and Adam by a campfire ready to get some Mac n Cheese warmed up for us. Though the day was long and tough it ended well and we all came through it well. In some ways this day of hiking would rate as the hardest of the trip.

   ** Ken **

 Sent from my iPhone

Posted via email from Ken Knight's posterous

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