03 September - Into the Minarets
Well here I was, ready for my first overnight trip into the High Sierra. Bears prowl the area I was headed into, so a Bear Canister was required. I took the bus over Minaret Summit and on to Agnew Meadows where I got off.
From Agnew Meadows I headed up the valley towards Shadow Lake. I had to take regular breaks, I was simply not used to hiking with the weight. The sun was out and the heat was beating down. After a long line of switchbacks I reached Shadow Lake and my first view of Mount Ritter, one of the gems of the Sierra.
Mount Ritter and Shadow Lake
Further up the valley I finally reached Lake Ediza, a real prize. Trees abound and the view up towards the Minarets and the wonders that lay in store for me.
Next came Iceberg Lake - named obviously for the floating ice and glacial melt. The views up towards the Minarets were now spectacular. Unfortuantely the clouds were starting to come in so I had to be careful and get to my campsite whilst I still had light.
I climbed up steep scree slops to finally reach Lake Cecile, the heightest point on my traverse. I climbed round the lake to where a ranger had advised me there were campsites. After some searching I found a tiny site - just enough space for my small tent. It was enclosed on one side by rock and trees on the other, but still had views out to the Minarets.
04 September - The Devil's Postpile
It was a stormy night, high winds, and I was exposed to the elements. Didn't get much sleep! When I got up the views were great - however my camera wouldn't work. A long story cut short I discovered it doesn't work well after getting cold. The lesson? Sleep with it in my sleeping bag! Finally it started working and I snapped a shot of Minaret Lake.
Shortly afterwards I turned it onyo the Minarets above me.
The Minarets from Minaret Lake
After a long descent down the valley I finally reached my objective and the end of my walk - the Devil's Postpile. This is a spectacular set of columns formed by some form of volcanic activity I don't have the time to describe...
The Devil's Postpile