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User / photography by Derek G
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N 8 B 1.4K C 1 E May 17, 2022 F May 23, 2022
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After leaving Davis lakes I navigated cross country to Rodgers Lakes. They were nice, but nowhere near as beautiful as where I had just come from so I continued on to Marie Lake. I worked my way up a steep ridge in the hot sun. At the top I could see a beautiful meadow land far below on the other side, dotted with many shining, shimmering ponds and a creek flowing between them all.
As I continued on I found a large rock with a shaded overhang and took a break from the hot sun in it's shadow. After the break I continued uphill and soon found the trail that led me the rest of the way to Marie Lake. After reaching the lake I made lunch, then I explored around the eastern shore.
While exploring I dropped my water bottle and when I squatted down to grab it the seat of my pants ripped from the crotch all the way to the waist band. To save weight on these trips I only bring one pair of clothes, not including cold weather gear. I also stopped carrying a sewing kit because I've never needed one. So I could neither replace nor repair my pants. Now that I had unprotected skin exposed to the sun, I went back to where my pack was and I tied a jacket around my waist to prevent the sun from burning me. I do carry sunscreen, but having clothing covering as much skin as possible works much better in my opinion.
After another hour of exploring the lower Marie Lake I was not happy with with the lack of shade and my photography options here so I decided to head back down and go to the meadow lands I had seen.
After reaching the pools and meadows of Rush Creek, I found a nice shaded spot beneath a stand of trees to set up camp. I soaked my feet in the cool water of the creek, then took a nap. When I awoke, the sun was low and I headed down to the creek to photograph sunset. I found a nice spot atop a waterfall where small fish were jumping, here I waited for the light to get good. While sitting at the spot I chose, another backpacker sat down nearby to enjoy the same view. Once I got the photos and the light faded from the landscape I asked the other backpacker if they had a sewing kit I could borrow. They said they didn't have one but asked what I was going to use it for. I told them about my ripped pants.
“I have duct tape, you can have some of that.” they offered.
“I have some too, but I don't think it will hold for a whole week.” I explained,
“This is Gorilla Duct Tape. It will hold.”
They gave me a small roll and I thanked them. We headed back to our own camps, and when I reached mine I repaired my pants. They were right, it held them together for the rest of the trip.

Tags:   hiking backpacking camping wandering wilderness High sierra sierra mountains lakes

N 3 B 532 C 1 E Apr 6, 2022 F Apr 8, 2022
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Once we had gone our own ways, I crossed a creek and found the meadow corridor I was looking for. I followed that up a gentle slope until it opened onto a wider meadow that then took me to the top of the pass (10492 ft). From there I descended down the other side contouring the ridge line through thick pine forest. After some time I reached an outflow pond just below Davis Lakes. Here I set up my camp for the night (9950).

unfortunately flickr will use the first frame as a thumb nail so its black again, i apologize for that.

music:
1st song: Shireg Shireg by The HU
thehu.bandcamp.com/
2nd song: Daughters of the Ocean by Joseph Allred
poorfaulkner.bandcamp.com/album/honeyvoiced

Tags:   hiking backpacking camping wandering wilderness forest mountain mountains landscape high sierra davis lakes california cross country

N 3 B 927 C 1 E Apr 6, 2022 F Apr 6, 2022
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Part 10: Solo
(Filmed with a Chest Mounted Go-pro)
After taking the photo of sunrise I walked back to our camp on the beach and saw the kayak gliding along the glassy mirror like lake. I took a few more photos of the lake and it's reflections. Soon the kayak came ashore. A man got out and pulled it up onto the beach, I nodded at him and said, "Good morning", he returned the greeting.
Later that morning I packed up my gear and headed out solo. My goal was to reach Davis Lakes today, and eventually reach the footprint of the Lyell Glacier in Yosemite National Park in a few day time, all while avoiding trails as much as possible.
At one point on the first day I did meet another backpacker who was going the same way as me for a short distance so we hiked together. He was doing the Sierra High Route that i had done in 2016 and he was glad to get some first hand knowledge of where he was headed. Shortly after this First part of the video ended we went our separate ways, he headed up North Glacier Pass to Lake Catherine and I continued to Davis Lakes.

song 1 by Joseph Allred- East Netherland
poorfaulkner.bandcamp.com/album/mandorla-valley
song 2 by Louie Zong - train suite I: park street trolley
louiezong.bandcamp.com/album/i-hate-this-guitar

Tags:   backpacking camping hiking wandering wilderness mt banner garnet lake 1000 island lake cross country high sierra sierra mountains walking

N 9 B 961 C 0 E Nov 11, 2021 F Nov 11, 2021
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watch the climb up here: flic.kr/p/2mGCvQj

Part 7: Back Down
Instead of retracing my steps I looked for a more direct route down and found one. Carefully I made my way down over steep slabs and and crevasses of loose rocks, down and down. Soon I reached more gentle terrain, but soon after I reached a high cliff. Here I stopped to survey the the area and I began to think that I may be stuck because what I had just come down, in places, was too steep to go back up safely. However I decided to turn to the north and see if I could make my way over to where I had come up. That decision turn out to be a good one because I found a way around the cliffs.
Soon I found the cairns I had made on the way up to help me easily navigate a steep talus field on the return journey. Once that obstacle was behind me the mountainside relaxed and the climb became more gradual. It wasn't long before I reached the meadows where my favorite tarn lay and I was finally off the mountain. Here I found a beautiful spot of crystal clear water to soak my tired feet.
When I returned back to camp Jan's smiling face was there waiting for me.
I decided I did not want to do that climb again by headlamp and that the photo I had gotten at the glacier would be good enough. Starting and ending at the tarn it took me 4 hours to go up, and 45 minutes to come down.

Music:
song 1: The White River by Jeremy Soule
song 2: The Stairs of Cirith Ungol by Howard Shore
song 3: Spiraling Skeleton Memorial by James Blackshaw
song 4: Under an Ancient Sun by Jeremy Soule

Tags:   hiking backpacking camping climbing wilderness wandering high sierra mountains mt banner california garnet lake lake

N 5 B 876 C 0 E Nov 4, 2021 F Nov 4, 2021
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Part 6: The Climb Up (Part 2 the climb down coming soon)
There is a little pond of glacial melt water that I have been looking at on google earth for several years now. It lies at the foot of Banner Glacier, in amongst the glacial moraine. To reach it I would have to climb 1250 ft in 0.8 of a mile. My goal was to do what I had done for yesterday's sunrise photo and wake up stupid early to climb up there for alpine glow, but since I have not been there before like I had for the other shot I needed to do an exploratory climb first just to see if it was possible to reach. Before leaving I had spent long hours studying satellite imagery, topo-maps and mountaineering routes, trying to determine the best possible way up to it. Now that I was finally here and able to see it with my own eyes I studied the landscape and terrain that I could see from a distance to try and confirm my planed route. I thought I had found a route that I liked that avoided as much talus and moraine as it could.
Today my plan was simple, make sure the route was climbable and that it could be done by headlamp also maybe find a site to spend the night somewhere closer, higher up the slope if I can near a spring, that would be a huge bonus.
After a successful 0.8 of a mile, 1250ft climb over 4 hours to the tarn I determined it would have been to dangerous to make the climb buy headlamp and I also did not want to do it again with a pack on. Now all I had to do was retrace my steps back down...

here is the photo: flic.kr/p/2mGveaT
watch the climb down here: flic.kr/p/2mJcAfg

Music:
1st song: The World Has Let Me Down by Jack Rose
2nd song: Mirage by Earth

Tags:   climbing mountain wildernes rugged elevation high sierra mt banner glacier wilderness wandering hiking camping backpacking california lakes lake rocks


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