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Evolution Valley Tour - Day One
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We finalized our packing strategy at Lake Sabrina because the view there is well worth a ten-minute detour! We restuffed our packs, pulling out duplicate items and applying our sunscreen. I again boldly chose to go sans tent as in '99, bringing only the rainfly, stakes and poles; this simplified packing a good deal but put me at risk on buggy nights. We drove the last miles to the trailhead, where I dropped off people and packs before driving down to the parking area. Hiking back to the trailhead, I remembered my last visit here a year ago; this was the first time I would begin a trip at the same trailhead I had exited most recently. As usual I was concerned about my conditioning, but more so this time: a bulging disc had laid me low during the off-season, so my preparations were less strenuous than for previous trips.

We reached the trailhead after noon, not an issue considering our short schedule for this day. We wandered casually up the shady trail to the Wilderness boundary, then emerged on the sunbaked slopes below Loch Leven for a bit of work. After a few short but warm hours, Larry and Julie found a very nice camp near the lower end of Piute Lake. A perfect, cloudless day was our reward for the brief hard work we had done. We set up early and ate our dinners well before sunset. I learned the hard way to read labels more closely; while my dinner was quite tasty, the Mandarin Orange Chicken had too much ginger for my system and I could not finish the meal.

As twilight fell, Larry and I headed for the lakeshore for photo-ops while Julie took her cold medication and prepared for bed. The unnamed peak 12600+ glowed brightly and reflected nicely, and was joined shortly by the rising full moon. The altitude was effective in slowing me down, but I felt exhausted enough to sleep well at our 11000-foot camp.

Hike day One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Summary

Camp One at Piute Lake

Sunset on peak 12600+