Over Mather Pass

Grouse Meadow (828.49)
Miles – 17.11
Total miles – 97.11

It was a warm night and we all sleep real well. Our normal wake up time is 6:00 and usually the kids are already up, but not this morning. I had to get out of my tent and rattle there’s before they woke up. Finally, we had breakfast. We were just fifteen minutes later than normal when we hiked out. The first part of today was 5.5 miles to the top of Mather Pass. This took us about three hours to hike. When we reached the top there were about ten other people up there, all Sobo JMT’ers, so we stopped just for a few minutes and then headed down. Since Whisper, Mama Raven, and I were out of water we stopped at the first creek we came to and filtered 10L. Next, we got down to Lower Palisades Lake and stopped to eat and soak our feet. The Golden Staircase was the next part of the trail we had to tackle. The Golden Staircase is a series of tight switchbacks dropping you down nearly 2000′. It is in the sun, so it is hot. Once down it the trail levels off and keeps dropping until we reached the Middle Fork of the Kings River. There we stopped for dinner. Turning up river, we started the climb up toward Muir Pass. We did not get far before we ran out of steam and stopped for the night. We have 10 miles of up to reach the top of the pass. We will make it tomorrow, but the question is, how far down will we get?

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