8/3/18 – Split Second Decision
Miles: 823.03 to 815.95
+ 0.50 to unnamed lake bellow Split Mountain
If I ever had said Golden Staircase was a set of easy switchbacks, don’t believe a word of it. Somehow the giant steps, and the smaller ones as well escaped my memory. It kicks my butt today and the climbing is not over. We still have 1,500 feet to crest Mather Pass. Luckily the steps mostly disappear and I’m cruising to the top.
At the pass we make a decision to join couple other hikers and attempt Split Peak tomorrow, a fourteener that is supposed to be an easy scramble unlike the other fourteeners in the area. There’s quite a few of them around.
So we drop about 400 feet to an unnamed lake on north side of the pass where we pitch base camp. The basin is incredible. It’s such a privilege to be able to explore this beautiful place. We even get some sunset colors. We could not wish for a better place to camp.