Crabtree Pass

The app cuts of the last 20 seconds of video, sorry about that. So those of you who have been following me since 2016 know that I did 40 days in the wilderness of the High Sierra of California hiking cross country along the Sierra High Route. I shared the photos and a few short videos along with long descriptive stories of my wanderings up there. I took a whole lot more video than what I originally shared and I just recently got around to editing it down into watchable clips of 10 minutes each. (it also helps that Flickr increased the length for videos) this is the second one in the set and I will be uploading more in the coming days or weeks. these were filmed with my canon rebel camera, hand held. Day 4 of 40 It froze last night, I can see my breath this morning and the small pond I'm photographing is ringed with ice, though surprisingly my water bottles didn't freeze. After photographing the sunrise, I boiled water for my breakfast. I opened the pouch (it's a dehydrated meal, just add boiling water) and I was so surprised to find a packet of olive oil in it, (I normally have some olive oil once a day back home) I have never been so happy to have olive oil. (later I realize that I was getting all the protein, carbohydrates, and other things from these meals except fats, I wasn't getting enough fats, so eventually I started bring fatty foods with me, but that wouldn't be until day 17)... Anyway... After breakfast I packed up and headed over to where the other two where camping, they weren't ready yet so I told them I was going to head over to the waterfall on the north end of the lake. A little while later they meet me at the falls and we started the climb up to Crabtree Pass. The terrain on the way up was really rugged and beautiful as we wound our way up through labyrinthine canyons, past a few small unnamed lakes and tarns (one of them I want to camp at next time I'm here). We climbed through talus and boulder fields, some surreal and gently sloping moonscape and up steep scree slopes that make forward progress slow and difficult. We eventually reached a very large unnamed lake with some of the bluest water I've ever seen, almost tropical ocean blue around the shore to deep dark blue in the center. The couple I was hiking with are a father and daughter, Paul and Macayla. Paul is a botanist for the Smithsonian. As we hiked he would name every plant we came across by both its common name and its scientific name. He showed me some edible ones, like alpine sheep sorrel, a leafy green like spinach but with a taste like green apple that was really good. He also answered my questions about some other plants I thought might be edible and he confirmed that they are. Sky Blue Lake where we had spent the previous night is at an elevation of 11545 ft, Crabtree Pass is at 12600 ft, from Crabtree Pass the hiker descends to the highest of the three Crabtree Lakes at an elevation of 12080 ft. After we reached the top of the pass we stopped for a break and photo op. We then surveyed the decent to upper Crabtree Lake. To the left was scree, to the right was slab. We all unanimously agreed that the slab would be an easier decent. Finally, after carefully and slowly picking our way down the slabs and a few areas of talus, we made it to the eastern shore of the upper Crabtree Lake. We made our way to the northern shore and navigated a spotty trail over talus until we reached the western shore and the creek that flowed through Crabtree canyon. We stopped at the only shade we could find, a large boulder with and overhanging side near a small pond, for lunch. I ate my cliff bar and a handful of trail mix. Paul shared some homemade trail mix with me and some cheese. OMG cheese! After lunch we continued on to the middle Crabtree Lake (11312), around the north shore, past a beautiful sandy beach, to a spot on the western end where the creek flowed out and down to the lowest of the three Crabtree lakes, and set up camp there. The two of them spent the rest of the afternoon fishing, eventually returning to camp with 3 fish. Smoke began blowing in from the west as we started to cook the fish, no fires where aloud in the back country, so the fish were boiled. We all shared fish and the fish broth, then I thanked them for the fish, and Paul said, "Don't thank me, thank the fish for their sacrifice and thank the lake for providing." So I did. I photographed the sunset which was made more intense and vibrant with the low hanging sun shining though the smoke, as Paul and Macayla cooked their dinner. After the sun set I was just pulling out my stove to boil water for my dehydrated meal and Paul comes over to me and gives me a bowl of mac and cheese and potatoes. this time I thanked him. We said goodnight and we all retired to our sleeping bags for a good nights sleep.