Beyond what I was anticipating
JMT DAY 19 - PALISADE LAKES
With about 9-10 lb of resupply that I picked up from Bishop Pass the day before, going down the steep switchbacks of 700 plus feet in elevation to Le Conte Ranger Station junction wasn’t fun for my knees. From there we lost another 600 plus feet in elevation till we turned east and started going up Palisade Creek to Palisade Lakes.
2,500 feet and 6 miles. That’s the elevation we gained and the distance we covered. Under a beating sun, it certainly felt like forever. The notorious Golden Stairs, about which I had had no prior knowledge till the night before when Henry and I went over the next day’s mileage, really kicked my butt.
But it wasn’t just the large amount of elevation gain that exhausted me. We rushed because we were worried that we would reach the lakes quite late. And yet it took us 5 hours.
It was extremely windy when we arrived at the lakes. With my memory of spending the coldest night at Helen Lake still fresh, I spent about 20 minutes looking for and lugging logs and large stones to my campsite and built a wind block.
Then, there was the sunset glow cast on Middle Palisade (14,012 ft) and Mt. Bolton Brown (13,538 ft). The intensity was beyond what I was anticipating. It was worth every step that I put forward to climb the bitchy route up the cliff while huffing and puffing like crazy for hours."
Palisade Lakes, Kings Canyon National Park, CA
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H Peter Ji © 2019