Got chilly last night. I awoke to a cool breeze and a sky full of cirrus clouds – the first clouds I’ve seen in a week. Perhaps a change in weather is in store.
The cool morning made for a brisk hike up to Silver Pass, the last of the daily passes between Whitney and Mammoth. Had my first views of Mt Ritter and Banner Peak and of the Middle Fork San Joaquin country.
I descended into the lush (and buggy) Fish Creek valley and Tully Hole. Thought of fishing there but decided to fish the lakes above instead. This was a mistake. Although Virginia and Purple Lakes are breathtakingly beautiful, the wind had whipped up whitecaps on their surfaces, rendering them unfishable.
The steady stream of southbound JMTers was supplemented by weekend backpackers – they were usually no more than a few hundred yards apart. Where they will all camp I can’t imagine. Most were headed to Purple Lake, which has space for maybe a half dozen tents.
The appearance of trail runners at Purple Lake indicated that civilization is near. On gaining the lake they hit the lap buttons on their watches and headed back to Mammoth, no doubt hoping for a PR or maybe even a FKT.
I plodded on a few more miles, unable to find a good campsite because of the abundance of blown-down trees. I finally just threw my sleeping bag and bivy out along a flat spot next to the trail. I don’t need much room, and all I am doing is eating supper (homemade dehydrated scrambled eggs and ham, pretty good), having a sip of whiskey, writing in my journal and going to sleep. My needs are simple and few.