First, we hiked to Crabtree Meadows, about 4.7 miles. From there it was another 2.7 miles to Guitar Lake.
Just past Crabtree Meadows
Before Guitar Lake, you reach Timberline Lake.
Pretty bird... no idea what it is
I didn't take a lot of pictures at all on this day. It wasn't very pretty, really, compared to the other scenery we'd seen. I just wanted to get my miles done and get off the mountain. From Guitar Lake, it's another 2.9 miles to the junction with the Mt. Whitney Trail. When I reached the junction, I saw the fattest marmot I'd ever seen. Later, someone told me they call him Santa Claus. Apparently he lives off of food stolen out of the packs of JMTers who have gone to summit Whitney.
Santa Claus the Marmot
I aim to have fun in hiking, rather than just bagging peaks. And I did not really like the last few miles of the Mt. Whitney trail because it is so rocky and difficult to walk on. I also did not need to have a 17 mile day instead of a 13 mile day. My previous day was 13.3 mi, and today would be 13.2 mi. That's more than a half marathon a day going over the two highest passes on the JMT. No, I did not need to add 4 miles of that to re-summit Whitney. So I went to Trail Crest from the junction, and then down the famous 99 switchbacks to Trail Camp. And past a lot of sick Whitney day hikers as I went. Really, I don't get why so many unprepared people do that to themselves.
In a way it was nice to be on familiar ground, because I knew - for example - that I could get good water from a spring on the switchbacks instead of the less nice water from Trail Camp. And I knew exactly how far it was from Trail Camp to Outpost Camp (2.7 mi) to Lone Pine Lake (another mile) to the end of the trail (2.8 miles). But it was also a bit of a drag. I had already hiked Mt. Whitney. I have no desire to re-hike it.
But that was the only option at that point, so we hiked to Trail Camp and spent the night there, dreaming of all the food we would eat the next day.
Day 17 miles hiked: 13.1
Day 17 elevation gain: 3540 ft
Total Distance Hiked to date: 134.6 mi
Total JMT distance hiked SOBO to date: 88.9 mi
All of my JMT photos can be seen here.
Previous JMT posts:
- Planning my Itinerary
- Getting My Permit
- Training for Mountains in a Flat State
- JMT Training Hike and Gear Test 1: San Bernardino Peak
- JMT Training Hike 2: El Capitan Open Space Preserve
- JMT Training Hike 3: Noble Canyon, Bottom Up
- Food and Resupplies
- The Camera
- JMT Training Hike 4: Mt. Baldy
- New Training Plan
- Last Minute Prep, Freaking Out, and Loose Ends
- Day 1: Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley
- Day 2: Half Dome
- Day 3: Little Yosemite Valley to Past Sunrise Creek
- Day 4: Before Sunrise High Sierra to Tuolumne Meadows
- Day 5: Lyell Canyon Out and Back
- Day 6: A Quick Jaunt on the PCT
- Day 7: Red's to Deer Creek
- Day 8: Deer Creek to Lake Virginia
- Day 9: Lake Virginia to Squaw Lake
- Day 10: Squaw Lake to VVR
- Reducing Pack Weight and Changing Food
- Day 11: Onion Valley to Flower Lake
- Day 12: Flower Lake to Charlotte Lake
- Day 13: Charlotte Lake to Rae Lakes
- Day 14: Rae Lakes Day Hike
- Day 15: Rae Lakes to Center Basin Creek
- Day 16: Center Basin Creek to Wright Creek