Started: 11:30 @ MM 878.8 Lake Edison VVR Ferry (Elevation 7,674ft)
Finished: 16:45 @ MM 882.8 Silver Pass Creek (Elevation 9,792ft)
Miles: 4.0 plus 1.4 on VVR Trail
Elevation Gain/Loss: +1,932/-40ft
Food: Big cooked breakfast! Trail Mix, Granola Bar, Chicken Teriyaki w/Rice, Snickers Bar
Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 1, Days since laundry 1
I was in absolutely no hurry to leave VVR! I’d slept really well and was over joyed at the fact that I didn’t need to be up at 6am and for the first time in ages I was relatively warm. I luxuriated in my feathery nest until 7am and then headed to the restaurant for breakfast and a seemingly endless supply of coffee. I was in heaven!
The first ferry back to the trail wasn’t due to leave until after 10 o’clock, but things didn’t seem to be running with any sort of Swiss precision so I relaxed and just hung out with the crowd. I organised my resupply, just a couple of days to get me through to Mammoth Lakes. With a hint of reluctance, I eventually packed away my tent and waited for the boat ride back across the lake.
We had decided on an easy day, covering just a few trail miles and two thirds of the 3,000ft climb over Silver Pass. This would hopefully set us up for a short final 1,000ft climb and subsequent descent of the snowy pass, in the morning when the snow was firm and easier to walk on. However, first we had the small matter of Mono Creek to deal with.
We had to cross Mono a ridiculous 6 times and on every occasion it was a different and major challenge. My confidence in dealing with these creeks was still very embryonic and quickly evaporated altogether. We were faced with one crossing that had waterfalls directly above and below it. Another was a wide, waist deep, rushing torrent and of course my absolute favourite … the entirely psychological log walk! Once again, I found myself totally indebted to Butterfly for his guidance, patience and assistance.
Once we had negotiated the final crossing we established camp just below 10,000ft and made a good fire to dry everything out and warm ourselves up. Curious George joined us. Around the campfire there was a palpable sense of relief and achievement.
Tomorrow would be an important day, Silver Pass was the last of the “big” passes. The toughest climbs and passes were almost behind us. Things would soon start to get easier. This was just as well … I was well and truly over the snow and these freezing cold nights and mornings. Unbelievably, I had survived the wilderness and soon I would be basking in the warm, low elevations of the beautiful Yosemite Wilderness … I could hardly wait!