Sonora Pass to Glen Aulin

July 19

We left Walker this morning at 6 and were on the trail at 7. We spent the first couple of hours ascending to 10,880 feet  and then spent the next few hours traversing along a number of ridges. Finally had a very long descent and eventually into trees for the first time of the day and made camp alongside a small creek, 14.5 miles from the drop off point.

The walking was good today, although the bear cans and 5 days of food made our packs pretty heavy. But the panoramic vistas during the ridge walk were breath taking and kept our minds off the lack of oxygen and sore shoulders and hips.

We ran into more snow today than anywhere else on the trip. Some of it was easy to cross, but there were a few patches that required some special attention.

We did hear about a gal who had fallen and broken her ankle. SAR had been contacted, but a couple of hours after we heard about it, we encountered her, still waiting on the chopper. She was surrounded by medical folks so we went on.

Overall a very good day foe Eeyore and Rabbit.

The climb out of Sonora Pass has a dozen patches of snow to cross, some of which took a great deal of care to prevent sliding down the mountain.
The views from atop the climb out of Sonora Pass, and the ridges to the south, were pretty impressive.

July 20

Up at 5 and on the trail around 6:20. Today we ascended up to a broad ridge and entered into Yosemite. After leaving the ridge we came to a shelf with a beautiful lake before beginning a long descent into a valley. We are camped alongside the creek we followed for 8 miles and will ford it in the morning.

Apparently the stay in my pack has been out of its pocket for sometime, and today punched a hole in the top of the pack. This puts more weight on my shoulders, so is not much fun. Cannot figure out how to fix it so am trying to arrange for a replacement.

The creek is broad where we are camped with some deep pools and big rocks. So after I had camp setup,  I went down to the creek and climbed in and bathed as much as possible without soap. Feels so much better.

Dorothy Lake is just inside the north entrance to Yosemite. It is a pretty lake that was deserted when we passed by.
Below Dorothy Lake were several miles of meadows to walk through. I kept expecting to see a herd of something go rumbling by, but had to be content with ground squirrels.

July 21

Ugh! Ford a creek. Climb 1000 ft. Descend 1000 ft. Ford a creek. Climb 1000 feet. Descend 1000 ft. Rock hop across a creek. Climb 1000 ft. Drop 150 feet and cram into a little spot at the end of a pretty little lake.

Not as many people today, and the views were limited, but what we had were good. The trail today was mostly rocky, with a lot of stairs. Glad today is over.

SO far, the streams we have had to ford have been relatively placid, although a bit time consuming. I’m sure that will change as the trail ventures further to the south.
Sometimes we go in the creeks, and sometimes the creeks go into the trail. All the rock work here was nice, helping to keep our feet dry.
This nameless little lake was our home for the night. our tiny spot at the south end of the lake was small, but the setting was wonderful.

July 22

We were up and on the trail by 6 this morning. The day started with a long descent through a mostly open valley. It then rather steeply ascended about 1800 feet and then dropped a couple hundred to a beautiful lake. I got to watch the fish feed, and take a nap, while Randy filtered water. The trail then ascended another 800 feet, half of it through a narrow and twisty canyon, before popping out at close to 10,000 feet. From there we dropped about 1500 feet to a camp beside a creek.

We only saw a few dozen people on the trail, including the 2 older men we have seen every day since Sonora Pass.

The mountains are getting very rugged, and the trail often matches them. They are so majestic and bear witness to their creator.

Sometimes a creek or river has a bridge across it. Sometimes you have to wade, or ford, it. More often you find a place where the rocks are close enough to rock hop, or step from rock to rock. And occasionally you find a log than spans the creek and is large enough to walk on. Rabbit didn’t like logs but did manage to cross one periodically.
We had this near vertical peak in sight for several hours as we first approached it, climbed up on its flank, and then moved away from it.
There are so many lakes along the route, and most of them are quite beautiful. It is often hard, even a few days later, to distinguish one from another.

July 23

Today was fairly easy, although there were some challenges getting started. It was 30 degrees this morning, although it did seem that cold until we started walking. Then it got cold, especially my hands. A mile into the days walk we came to a stream. After a bit of investigation I found a place where it appeared we could rock hop across. But I failed to take the temperature into account. Some of the rocks I had chosen to step on were frozen. Needless to say, I ended up with wet feet.

Next was a 1000 foot climb and I was really happy with being able to just power up it. There were some pretty lakes at the top, but eventually we descended a big, crossed 3 streams, one of which we forded, only to discover a good log we could have used.

Powered up another 500 foot climb and then descended for 7 miles to Glen Aulin, a backcountry camp about 6 miles from the highway. Fortunately we got here around 3 since this is a weekend and apparently a popular spot. Glen Aulin is apparently Galic for ‘Beautiful Valley’, and it was quite pleasant.

There is a waterfall here that is pouring out of a rock wall, pretty impressive. There is also running water and an outhouse. The ‘store’ however, consists of two tiny shelves with little of interest.

The communal fire pit is just across from our tents and I see someone collecting firewood, so it may be a long night.

It is not uncommon to see large areas that are just rock; and not small rocks, but just a solid slab of rock. I really enjoy them when they coincide with a stream. Reminds me of a water park. We had hoped to camp at one of these spots, but so far never have.
This waterfall at Glen Aulin appeared to come from a hole in the side of the cliff, but it was actually a narrow channel through the rock.
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