Cathedral Lakes Area

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This is a section of JMT between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, taken from near Sunrise Camp. Lots of cool looking shark-fin peaks and jagged ridges.


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Here's Jim burnin' up the trail on our way to Tuolomne Meadows, day 2 of our 19 day trek. His right foot is blurred because he had just rapidly flung a marmot off the trail. This section of the JMT was pretty cool because much of it was through large, grassy meadows with a distinct path for a trail. Jim is approaching a passing lane on the trail, which we had to use at times to pass groups of slow-moving Sierra Clubbers®, Girl Scouts®, and brutal Middle Eastern dictators with cumbersome entourages. Right now these meadows would be golden. I want to be there.

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Cathedral Peak® is a registered trademark (TM) of Yosemite National Park, Inc.® This photo was taken on day two of our 19-day JMT® trek. Regarding pack weight, our packs hovered well above the ungodly range, so we dumped much of the contents... from food to film to fuel to underwear and socks to you-name-it. It was like in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean when their ship was being chased by the Black Pearl and they were losing ground, they dumped everything on board they could, out into the sea, to lighten their load. That's what we did in Toulumne Meadows, as the pirates of agony were gaining on us. And the cheeseburgers there didn't hurt our morale one bit either. But back to the photo... the Cathedral Lakes area was absolutely gorgeous and a pleasure to hike thru. Yosemite National Park was some stunning high mountain backcountry. We seriously considered doing the JMT in 2-3 chunks instead of all at once like we planned... but after a big fatty cheeseburger and a good night's rest and a half-day layover, we decided to mail back a bunch of our film, food, and gear from the little post office there and continue on. It was a decision we never regretted (well, except while going up each and every switchbacked pass). Although doing the JMT in sections wouldn't be a bad way to go, I think there's more of an accomplishment feeling by cranking it all out at once. I think anyway. Heck, I don't know.


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This is a trailside shot off the JMT as we approached Upper Cathedral Lake. It took all of my 17mm to fit this scene into one shot. There is a sea of peaks beyond the lake... the stuff dreams are made of. New adventures await in every direction. Both John Muir and Galen Rowell have been here, as well as Jim S. and Buck Forester. Too bad us four couldn't have hung out with each other. I wanted so bad to tell John Muir my Bigfoot encounter story. We saw G-Dub here as we took a break. He was surveying the trees, marking most of them for the deforestation chainsaw. It's a pre-emptive fire measure, as lightning could go through here and burn nearly as many tress as he had marked for the sawmill. He also liked our stove, the MSR Dragonfly, as it sucks quite a bit of white gas compared to other models.

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Here we filtered water and snacked heartily and rested in the shade of a pine tree.

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Jim at Cathedral Lake on our mid-afternoon break.


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Echo Peaks stand defiantly above the JMT near Tuolumne Meadows. Why do I say defiantly? I don't know. It sounds cool, I guess. But if you asked them to move, I bet they wouldn't. So they are defiant in a way. In fact, I think you would need the faith of TWO mustard seeds to get these puppies to move. They look like a castle and I love hiking next to them.