Eastern Sierra: Day 6 – Humphreys Basin
My original plan for day 6 was to hike to Desolation Lake and camp there. It wasn’t a very long way from where I was, so I was looking forward to an easy day.
When I woke up, there was a bit of a breeze blowing and by the time I was ready to go, it was strong enough to blow over my loaded pack.
I left camp at the base of Humphreys and headed off toward Desolation Lake. I repeated the same process as yesterday; up and down, over and over.
I only had to clear about three sets of hills before I came to the cut that would lead me down into Humphreys Basin and on to Forsaken and Desolation lakes.
The way I had chosen had left me a pretty steep entry down into the basin, but it was manageable and kind of fun. There was dirt and grass and the last obstacle was the boulder hop.
It took a little while to get down, but the rest of the day would be spent on a little more level ground.
I arrived at Desolation Lake a short time later and the wind was howling and it was cold.
I looked for a suitable place to set up camp, but there just wasn’t anything that really blocked the wind. I decided that I would hike farther into the basin and see what I could find. This kind of changed my plans a little. From the lake, I had planned to go over a pass on the NE side the next day, and then down towards L Lake to camp for the night. I studied the map and decided to head south and then west after I cleared the lake.
I filled up my water and ate lunch, and then continued past Desolation Lake and turned west to see what I could find.
The area past Desolation Lake was huge! It was mostly barren and filled with boulders, but there were a few patches of color.
I found a place in a boulder field to set up the tent. The wind wasn’t so bad here and I still had a great view of Mt Humphreys.
I snapped some more pictures of Humphreys in the sunset and then went into the tent to sit to get out of the wind.
From the open tent door, I had a great view of the mountain in the sunset, framed by the tent, with the tripod and some boulders in the foreground.
This one turned out to be one of my favorite shots of this trip.
My camera battery level was down to two bars. I had been conserving as much as I could and really wanted to get some shots of Upper Pine Lake, but that was still going to be two days away.
Since the change in plans, I would be playing it by ear tomorrow. At this point, my main goal was to have enough battery power to get some pics at Upper Pine Lake.
I put the camera away for the night. When the sun went down, the wind quieted and I was able to sit outside and watch the stars. I’m almost glad the moon was too bright to allow for any night shots on this trip.
I fell asleep wondering what tomorrow would bring.