Part 9 of 25, Video Part 1 of 3, Old Army Pass

Songs: Solringen & Helvegen by Wardruna and Mirage by Earth filmed with a chest mounted gopro If you are using the Flickr mobile app, it will not play the whole video and the end will be cut off. I recommend watching on the Flickr website instead because that will play the whole video. Part 9 In dawn the sky to the east slowly lightened and I arose to a new day. I photographed sunrise by the lake shore once again but unseen clouds to the east blocked the pink rays upon the high peaks. After breakfast we packed up our tents and gear and prepared for the ascent up Old Army Pass. “Once we begin,” I explained to Hester, “There will be no water until Upper Soldier Lake on the other side of the mountain, so we should drink as much as we can now and fill all our bottles up before we start.” The sun was up and shining and the lake had the most perfect reflection upon her surface. The grasses shimmered with dew and we were ready and excited to begin. The trail began as a easy flat route between the two lakes and soon gradually ascended up sandy slopes above Lake # 4. The heat of the day had not yet begun and the temperature was perfect. Slowly we climbed up the trail as the lake fell away. The trail curved following the contour of the cirque and then switch-backed towards the saddle. For me it was no problem, a lot easier than I expected it to be, but then again I have lots of experience. Hester didn't complain and always pushed further and harder, giving it his all. His pack was still rubbing his back the wrong way but he didn't give up. Clouds had begun to form above the ridge as they had in the days previous, but if rain was going to happen it was still a long way off. We reached the top in a shorter time than either of us expected to, and on the final approach Hester had the biggest smile on his face as a cool wind greeted us at the saddle. Here we stopped, dropped pack and took a well deserved rest. From here we could see the whole of Lake # 4 nestled in the glacial cirque and one end of Lake #5. The clouds gather thicker over Langley Summit (14042) and the Sequoia - Kings Canyon Wilderness, which we had now entered. After our break we continued. There was more uphill ahead of us, but the worst of it was behind us. Unlike most of the mountains and ridges in the Sierra, this ridge is smooth, not jagged. It is absolutely beautiful up here; the view is vast and today the landscape of the distant mountain peaks is painted in an ever changing mosaic of light and shadow from the shifting clouds amassing overhead. I really wanted to slow down and take our time and to enjoy every moment up here, but neither of us wanted to get stuck up here if it began to storm, especially if there was lightning, so we quickly, yet leisurely, made our way.