8/4/18 – Fourteener

Day 45

Miles: 815.95 to 808.90

+ Split Mountain scramble and 0.50 miles hike from unnamed lake back to trail

The sky is perfectly clear and the stars are out. For a few minutes I watch Milky Way stretching above our tent and thousands of other stars. It’s so beautiful.

Alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. Quick breakfast and we are on our way to attempt Split Mountain. We walk along the lake, we have to do some rock hopping over the outlet and some smaller streams but otherwise it’s an uneventful walk. The climb starts afterwards.

I like the climb. At first the route takes us to a saddle, from there we have a wide open ridge to climb. It’s mostly talus with several areas of scree. Talus hopping at that elevation is not the easiest thing but we’re taking it slowly one step at a time and in 2hrs 40 mins we’re on the top. Another fourteener bagged. The views are incredible. Amount of smoke in the valleys all around us alarming.

When we reconnect with the trail, we also reconnect with many friends we left behind after Muir Pass. Mel is the first one we see, Shannon and her partner are at the next creek crossing. One creek later we also have a chance to talk to Kim and her family, and Blair and Virginia. Unfortunately all of them plan to camp closer than we are and soon we loose them again.

Marjorie Lake is beautiful. It sits in a basin bellow Pinchot Pass with many impressive peaks surrounding it as well. It’s super windy. I freeze when filtering water and even in my down coat later on when I go take photos, I’m not 100% cozy. Both Dave and I are in our sleeping bags by 7:00 pm bracing ourselves for the cold night.