Wednesday, August 21, 2013

day 14: 5th day on JMT, Donahue Pass to Ruby Lake

 Donahue Pass

A year ago today I was in my best friend, Ginny's, wedding!  Happy anniversary Ginny and Riley!  If you had told me a year ago that I would be on the JMT next year I would've laughed at you.  Funny how things change.  Today was rough, really, really rough.  We started the morning (after breakfast and breaking camp) by crossing a swift creek (just above 32 degrees F)  Barefoot because we didn't want to start the day out with super wet boots.  It was definitely scary (as the river rocks were very slick and the creek was very swift) but John was helpful and we did it!  The water came half way up my calf.

The view from the top of Donahue Pass

Then we hiked up Donahue Pass (11, 200 ft, around a 2 mile climb).  Whew!  We had to cross over many creeks that were sheer snow melt and then we had to hike partially up the pass on pure packed snow!  I only allowed myself to look at John's footprints right in front of mine because I was scared out of my mind.  Today I am super thankful for my trekking poles (thanks, Bev!)!  They saved my butt so many times today.

Me hiking up Donahue

Anyway, we finally got to the top of Donahue Pass and Keith was up on a higher peak telling us there was a great view.  We hiked across more snow (a plateau) then up some rocks and joined him for a rest.  Gorgeous!!  You could see so far and the view was incredible, I'm so glad we did that. 

View at the top of Donahue

Another view at the top 

Later, we parted ways with Keith and we continued on through the pass and over the other side.  There was tons of snow, mud and little creeks of snow melt.  Yuck!  I fell through the snow thigh deep, twice.  We lost the trail at one point because it was covered in snow.  But John is amazing and found the trail again.  We continued on descents, flats, ascents and rolling terrain mixed with plenty of snow, mud, little creeks and big rolling creeks. 

Starting to go down the other side of Donahue

The upsides of the day were seeing Thousand Island Lake (gorgeous!!), Emerald Lake (beautiful but a pain to get around because of the snow) and Ruby Lake, where we decided to camp.  We camped early because Ruby was so beautiful and there was a perfect space for a campsite.

On the way to Thousand Island Lake

Getting closer...

Thousand Island Lake

My appetite seems to be back to normal, although I thought I would be ravenous because of all the exercise but I'm not.  Both of our feet hurt pretty bad but everything else seems to be fine.  Except that we have 1,000 mosquito bites and we hate the snow.  We got to see some really incredible sights though and that makes the negative things fade away.

Thousand Island Lakes (See all of the little islands out there? Hence the name.)

Ruby Lake

Sunset at Ruby Lake
Total JMT miles: 44

campsite at Ruby Lake

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