Start mile 834.8, campsites along Middle Fork Kings River
End mile 862.4, campsite 3.2 miles from Selden Pass Miles walked: 27.6 Frogger and Lake kindly let me follow them up, as they are better at finding glimpses of the trail between patches of snow. The climb up is too hard, no sketchy scrambles on ice or rock. Muir Cabin at the pass is dedicated to the memory of John Muir, built of local rock. The charming chimney is bricked up. See the ceiling constructed of stone. The cabin is surprisingly warm naturally, with one small window. Descending… About a mile of post-holing. I saw Hershey and Nightingale just after the last of tho snow, planning to take an easy day since it was too far to the next pass. (I think to myself, “Challenge accepted!”) This lake with ice has a pleasing pattern. Down a canyon and along a river and meadow I greeted Applejack, last seen at Grumpy Bears at Kennedy Meadows. My walk is fast and long to get close to Selden Pass, since early morning ascents and descents are much more pleasant. Success. Finished audiobook Something New (A Blandings Castle novel), by P G Wodehouse
End mile 834.8, campsites along Middle Fork Kings River
Miles walked: 21.5
Starting extra early at 5AM, I climb up to Mather Pass by 7:30. Following footprints was useful, but the last set of switchbacks were ignored, in favor of rock scrambling, perhaps a little too exciting at a steep 12k elevation. Summiting at nearly the same time are Nightingale and Hershey, and Lake and Frogger. I descend right away to get past snow before it is warm enough for post-holing. The path down is on a steep slope, treacherous. Several miles were necessary to get below from the snow, and post-holing began as early as 9AM, so starting early did not help much. We just had to power through. Then we descend on well-engineered switchbacks deep into a pleasant canyon, and follow along a river for much of the afternoon. I meet Easy, who I had not seen since before Kennedy Meadows. He heads off-trail to Bishop Pass to get resupply.
My campsite is by a river at 10k elevation, just at the 50 percent snow line, to be close to Muir Pass for tomorrow morning. Several other tents are nearby, as others plan an early morning summit.