Garnet Lake


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First Trailside View of Garnet Lake

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The summits of Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak were playing peekaboo through the clouds over the lake. The beauty was trail-stopping awesome! It took us a while to get through this section of trail just because the scenery kept stealing our breath. When the clouds would break just long enough to see the tips of the peaks, it was always amazing how high they towered above the basin. The wonders of the JMT® never cease to amaze. Each new ridge, each new drainage, each new pass brings totally new splendor. It's nearly impossible to pick a favorite stretch of trail.


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With Volanic Ridge rising above us, we descended down to Shadow Creek in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. To our right and behind us, out of view, are the Minarets, which were shrouded in clouds. It was an overcast day and rain threatened most of the day, really letting loose in a deluge later on in the evening. I really like this area. It's a beautiful basin with a beautiful creek in a magical setting.


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This is Shadow Creek looking towards the Minarets, which are hidden in misty clouds. This creek is great fishing for brookies and some rainbow. It's a paradise to me and I visit this area frequently. The JMT follows this creek downstream for a couple miles or so before it heads over to the shore of Shadow Lake and then up huge set of steep switchbacks. You learn to really enjoy the relatively flat sections of the JMT because they are few and far between. Descending Shadow Creek is one hecksta delightful section of the JMT.

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After dropping down from Garnet Lake, we came into another one of my favorite basins. I love this area. The sky was drab and gray and even blown-out with the naked eye, so even a 42-stop hard GND wouldn't have salvaged the sky here. Plus, I didn't have a 42-stop hard on me. I went on and on and one about the beauty of this place with Jim, who had spotted three mosquitoes, so he wasn't very fond of it and was ready to move on. It's a good thing because if we had lingered as long as I wanted to, we would've missed the cheeseburgers back in Red's Meadows later that night. We barely made it before closing time. This spot is near the Minarets, which were shrouded in clouds all day and wouldn't put-out for my camera. The fishing for brookies in Shadow Creek here is fantastic.