Day 2 – Cathedral Lakes

7/22 – Little Yosemite Valley to Cathedral Lakes
12.5 miles

We only hiked 12.5 today but by golly that was hard!  We started the day at 6,140 feet in Little Yosemite Valley and went over Cathedral Pass at 9,700.  That’s over 3,600 feet of gain today.  Honestly, it really sucked in some parts. I’m still getting used to the elevation.  Kevin made us press through our designated lunch time stopping point to try and get over the pass as we were scared of thunderstorms. There have been storms in the afternoon the past two days and the clouds sure looked like they would break and dump on us.  We got a bit of drizzling through out the day, but no thunder strikes.  We probably made it over the pass at 4pm.

After climbing out of Little Yosemite Valley and splitting off from the trail to Half Dome, we gained 1,000 feet in the first mile and a half.  We got up on top of a plateau and were able to see down on to Bunnell Cascade and the path we took last October to Merced Lake high sierra camp.  We were much, much higher up than that trail.  Helps to put things in perspective.

The food so far has been pretty good.  Oatmeal and coffee for breakfast.  Salami, tortillas, and cheese for lunch.  2 Clif bars a day and potato bark beef and vegetable stew for dinner.  The dehydrated meals were worth the weeks of snackmastering prep work and extra money.  I don’t think we saved any by not purchasing Mountain House meals, but at least we can control what goes in our meals and they taste home cooked.

So far we have met 5 other JMT hikers.  Steve and Emma from MA, they stayed in Sunrise Camp.  Karl from Belgium and two younger girls that camped with us at Cathedral Lake.

Cathedral lake and peak are simply amazing.  It takes work to earn the view but my word is it worth it. We set up camp a ways up from the lake with a fantastic view of the peak and ate our dinner as alpine glow lit the place up in shades of pink and orange.

“No wonder the hills and groves were God’s first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself. The same may be said of stone temples. Yonder, to the eastward of our camp grove, stands one of Nature’s cathedrals, hewn from the living rock, almost conventional in form, about two thousand feet high, nobly adorned with spires and pinnacles, thrilling under floods of sunshine as if alive like a grove- temple, and well named “Cathedral Peak.” – John Muir

I still haven’t seen a pika, but lots of ground squirrels, chipmunks, deer, jays and maybe a frog. Tomorrow will be Tuolumne meadow and Lyell Canyon to set ourselves up to get over Donahue pass!

I think that is Vogelsong in the distance. Maybe even Mt. Florence
Past Sunrise Camp
Past Sunrise Camp
No grazing in the meadow, okay?
No grazing in the meadow, okay?
Long Meadow and Columbia Finger in the distance
Long Meadow and Columbia Finger in the distance
Little pink cheeked after going over Cathedral Pass
Little pink cheeked after going over Cathedral Pass
Headed down from Cathedral pass to the lake
Alpine glow
Alpine glow. And laundry.
Alpine glow on Cathedral Peak
Alpine glow on Cathedral Peak
What’s for dinner?

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Jessica Cross

Marketing Nerd. Lover of Star Trek. Eater of Blueberry Clif bars.

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