Day 50 Bishop to Rae Lakes

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools
But the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure
With a liberal allowance of time

Henry David Thoreau

I thought this a suitable quote to start the first true section of the High Sierra. Well rested after our zero day in Bishop, we checked out early in an attempt to maximize our chances of a lift back to the trail. Full of breakfast and with high hopes, we walked through town to find a suitable hitching spot. With Jo now joining us, we decided to split into pairs to increase our chances. Unfortunately, after waiting for almost two hours Sole Catcher and Jo got picked up first. Half an hour later, we were fortuitous enough to pick up a ride from a women who was driving out to collect some other thru-hikers from the trail. Unable to believe our luck, we were whisked up to the start, only ten minutes behind the other two. With our packs full, we began the return climb back up to the top of Kearsarge Pass. Upon reaching the top, we were pleasantly surprised to find our fitness easily up to scratch. After a short descent to lunch, we enjoyed the knowledge that we were back on trail. With the PCT continuing along the same route as the JMT, we knew we had some more climbing ahead of us. The first few miles involved climbing around and then into a steep sided valley. With impressive formations of weather columnar granite blocks and crystalline lakes, it was a spectacular, if challenging, climb. Upon reaching the top, the four of us nestled down behind the rocks to escape the wind. With the clouds rolling in, we began the steep descent of the other side of the pass. As it was north facing, there was a substantial amount of snow to cross, with Sole Catcher and myself postholing through the soft snow. This led to a cut on Sole Catchers leg and me snapping my right hiking pole tip on a rock. This is the day after I replaced the left tip as it had broken on the last section. Continuing our hike, we finished the steeper section, and walked into another valley, this one filled with the Rae Lakes, all colored a deep blue. Camp was just above the shore of one of them, and minus the mosquitos and wind, made for a nice evening.

Miles hiked – 14

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