The snow continues down from Donohue Pass

Day 3. Tuesday, July 5, 2005

Start: One mile below Donohue Pass

Stop: One miles below Agnew Pass

Mikes Hiked: 8.0

Camped at: 11S LB 09750 x 79830 (UTM)

We got up at about 7:00 and started hiking at 8:30, after talking to a want-a-be JMTer from Michigan. Seems he started a week ago in Yosemite and had a terrible time getting to Red's Meadow. Instead of going on, he turned around and retraced his steps, thereby aborting his original plan. But, he was somewhat encouraging on what we could expect.

Wes could see this morning, but after an hour in the snow, it was obvious that he was in pain. I gave him my sunglasses. Both Allen and Wes havenít taken off the glasses today, even in the shade.

It took all morning to get out of the snow; to a low enough altitude that would allow us to remove our crampons. We got to the junction of the JMT and a side trail at 11:30. We had lunch. Now, food is starting to taste real good. (On my first night I could not eat the dinner that I made. Last nights dinner was okay, but I had trouble getting it all down.)

So now we had a decision: to go up toward Island Pass (at 10,300) or to go down the side trail. We opted for down. Our plan is to still go to Red's Meadow, but by way of Agnew Pass which is only 9980 feet.

So far I think it is a good decision, although it seems sad not to do the official JMT or PCT for this part, but we will pick up the PCT later today. And the route is clearly lower, mostly south facing, so it should be without too much snow.

Now we are camped about 1 mile below Agnew Pass at about 9300 feet.

I had a great dinner: Top Roman, beef sticks, and garlic favoring. Also I ate all my snacks today -- I think I am adjusting.

One worry however is water. The water pump broke yesterday. I wasn't so worried cause we were going to be in high altitudes with lots of fresh runoff from the snow melt. But, down here, I am more concerned. We melted snow on our stove tonight. It was a lot of work, and a lot of fuel. The water tasted terriable. And we still don't have enough for tomorrow's hike over Agnew Pass.

There is a lot more that I want to write about -- like getting to know Allen, my love for Wes, my feelings about hiking, the incredibly painful cramps that I am experiencing, and now feeling my body tune up, and the river crossings. But, enough for tonight.