Sphinx Lakes to Brewer Basin in Kings Canyon
The end of the day at the third lowest Sphinx Lake greeted us with cold blowing fog coming up from below. Here is a good view of our mountaineer camp using the Moss Heptawing and a tarp. It was actually warmer beneath the wing.
Beyond the Sphinx Lakes
18 Sept. to 19 Sept. Day 0 and 1, Kings Canyon NP.
The first day on the trail from Roads End to Avalanche Meadow in Kings Canyon went as it usually did (See The "Sphinx Lakes" feature in Sierra Trails) except to say it was a bit cooler than usual due to the fairly early start and the lateness of the season. We had driven up late Friday and camped in the Big Meadows area. Saturday morning we went to Grant Grove for a big breakfast, drove down into the canyon and got our permit after enduring a lengthily lecture from the Rangers about wilderness rules and the big bad bears. Bear encounter incidents were up, so in a panic the Rangers had declared a bear canister or bear box only exclusion zone in the Bubbs Creek drainage (we saw no bears the entire trip). The only thing of real note was that uncharacteristically Dave was seriously dragging tail that first day, but true to form by the end of the trip he was energetically charging up the trail in a cloud of dust. Me, I plugged along in my usual pace, although I would have to say this was probably the most strenuous trip to date. Almost every day we seem to do too much altitude or too many miles, or both. The first day to Avalanche Meadow was one of the hardest: lots of altitude and stairs, and our packs at their very heaviest. Only horses dare go further up this trail in one day. We turned in early.
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