Thursday, August 19, 2010

South To North Lake Loop

Last weekend I ran with my friend Catra Corbett and her friends Jerry and Linda. We ran from South Lake to North Lake, via Bishop Pass, Muir Pass and exiting out Piute Pass. The total milage of this run is 57 miles, but it is also very rocky with probably 10,000 ft or more elevation gain and loss.
We met at North Lake and left two cars there, and all drove to South Lake a few miles away and started from there. We started at 10:30 PM, even though neither of us had slept and were up since 6 am that morning. While I was at North Lake that evening waiting for them to arrive, I tried to sleep, but could only rest at best for about an hour.
Anyways we all made great time up to Bishop Pass under an amazing star lit night. Because of the altitude, and moonless night, the stars were extremely bright and plentiful.
We continued on from there, where Catra and I pretty much partnered up were always a bit of a distance ahead of Linda and Jerry. Shortly after passing my favorite Juniper Tree in the Sierras, we were on the John Muir Trail. Still in the Dark, it was hard to notice Big Pete's Meadow, and all the campers that were there.
Dawn Appeared quite slowly as we assended Muir Pass, but the change of light was breath taking on the canyon walls around us.
Up on Muir Pass, Catra and I waited a while for the others, and took some pictures of the scenes around us. After regrouping we all ran down the mountain and met up again near Mc Clure Meadows at a neat little water hole that I like stopping at to cool of and rest a bit.
After a long lunch/rest break, we then took off for the evolution creak crossing that was shallow, concidering how much snow was in the high country.
From Evolution Creek, Jerry and I ran together a while, which was nice, because he is a Chi Runner, and I picked up some good pointers. Chi Running is a great way to run long distances without inpact injuries.
After Jerry and I arrived at Piute Creek, we took another break, talking to some backpackers. Catra and I soon took off though, for the final push up and over Piute Pass.
Piute pass was another 12 miles to the top, and another 5 miles down to the cars. It was shortly after 5pm when we departed Piute Creek crossing. The 1st part of the trail was steep and rocky. The approach into Hutchinson Meadow however, was nice and flat. But, now we had a new obsticle, Mosquitos. They came out in clouds, and both Catra and I put on all our clothes to cover up and walked as fast as we could out of there. As we hiked above Hutchinson Meadow, the Mosquitos were gone and we were now pretty exausted, from lack of sleep.
Piute Pass was now in our reach, so we thought. Being dark once again under a beautiful star lit night, you could see the outline of the Pass ahead of us. We went way to the NorthWest, before swinging to the SouthEast, and went over one fake Pass after another. I have been over this Pass several times, but can not remember it taking that long.
Upon reaching the top, we then fast paced the next 5 miles to the truck. The tempeture dropped and it was a cold morning, Catra and I waited a few hours for Jerry and Linda at the trailhead, where they completed around 8am.
I then drove home and basically did not sleep for 55 hours. I really enjoyed this trip, for the non-stop push and the incredible nights and weather. The Mosquitos sucked, and the breaks were a bit too long, but otherwise it was a great exsperience.