Muir Pass

It was overcast when I woke up. It’s not supposed to rain until tomorrow. I had a wonderfully sheltered little spot, and would have loved an excuse to stay there and rest all day, but I had to keep hiking. The fog burned off early and revealed that it was, in fact, another beautiful day.


Going up was slow, took me 8.5 hours to go 10 miles. Going up is tough too because going down I can eat and drink and smoke while I’m walking, but going up I have to stop to do all those things, and I don’t feel like I have time to stop very much.

I’m in this weird bad place. My pack is too heavy, mostly with food. I would feel better with a lighter pack, so I should eat more. But in addition to the time factor (not wanting to stop to eat), pushing myself so hard has decreased my appetite. The high elevation might be contributing too. And not eating enough makes me tired, which makes me slow, which makes me not feel like I don’t have time to stop and eat. It’s a vicious cycle.


There was a lot more snow on the south side of the pass than I expected, and the snow was super soft. But I made it up by 1430.

Getting kind of feral looking.

Yogi’s guidebook says if you go down Muir in the afternoon, expect to post-hole for hours, and that’s no lie. Did my last posthole at 1730. The worst was a 20 or 30 yard stretch where I was postholing through 18 inches of snow into 8 inches of ice water. Water that cold really hurts after a minute or two.

IMG_0583Clouds were building and I really wanted to get back below treeline if it was going to be a stormy night. I walked until 1930 to do it. Very tired and sore, and now with leg cramps! I keep pushing myself to the absolute limit. I thought I would be in shape by now, and I suppose I am, but that doesn’t really matter if I am hiking as fast as I can for 13.5 hours every day.

My shirt has a big tear on top the right shoulder. It was kind of sore so I felt up there and there is this bony protrusion. I have a matching one on the other side. Also, when I got another leg cramp in bed, I tried to massage it away and my legs are also pitifully thin. I’m getting like a concentration camp survivor. I need to eat more.

I’ve got the big Evolution Creek ford tomorrow. In the rain?


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