Day 45: Guitar Lake

Memories from June 4

I was walking out of Chicken Spring Lake at 5:35am before I heard anyone else even moving. There was a good bit of up hill before getting to Crabtree Meadows but only because I had to descend to it first and wanted to be done with the climb before noon. Notably, that downhill took me into Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Park where bear canister are required.

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The trail lead down to Rock Creek which was my first wet-foot stream crossing. I zipped off the lower legs of my pants,  changed into flip flops, and right after  taking my first step into the painfully cold water, decided to go dig a cat hole instead. In the end it wasn’t fast or just knee deep but was a good reminder that streams are easy to underestimate.

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There were a bunch of switchbacks almost immediately after the stream which took me to a saddle with Mount Guyot to the west. The trail was hot and sandy and if it weren’t for the trees, I might have thought myself back in the desert.

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At Crabtree Meadows I unexpectedly ran into Five Star and Wrong Tent who I’d met a few days ago but hung out with at the ADZPCTKO make up at Chimney Creek and again in Kennedy Meadows. Wrong Tent had summited Mount Whitney earlier in the day and so I got a bunch of intel from him for the climb tomorrow.

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After an easy early afternoon, Nana & Co caught up so we headed down the trail towards Guitar Lake which is a popular base camp from which to day hike Whitney from the West. About a mile down the trail, there was another feet-wet stream crossing. Two in my first day of them! I wore my flip flops the rest of the way to Guitar Lake.

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Some pictures from the two or three miles to Guitar Lake. I was awe inspiring.

Me enjoying the view from Timberline Lake.

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Yes, I wore my flip flops over that snow. It was a little cold.

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Looking back down the way we’d come shortly before Guitar Lake.

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The size of the mountains flanking the valley made me feel dizzy.

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Finally, Guitar Lake.

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The walk from the PCT to Guitar Lake (it’s a side trip) was wondrous. The effect was heightened by hiking shorts and flip flops at an ambling pace, getting my feet wet here and there for no reason. I felt like a child at play. It was wonderful.

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