(all images are clickable for a larger version)
Another morning with blue sky, and another late start. I walked along the Palisade Lakes (10.800 ft) to the Golden Staircase – a steep series of switchbacks going down to 9.300 ft. It wasn’t golden at all as it was morning, and no afternoon sun coloured the Palisade Creek’s cascades. I was on the easier end, walking down, but the hikers who came up from the valley did not look happy, and asked me how far it still was. Temperature was quite high, too hot for a comfortable uphill hike.
12:30 am I was at its bottom and entered Deer Meadow, westward along Palisade Creek. An hour later I crossed a sequence of tributaries, among them Glacier Creek. A short stretch with dead trees showed the impact of a past wildfire. The trail went down more and more, until it led into the Le Conte Canyon at 7.800 ft where it bends to north and follows the canyon and the Middle Fork Kings River.
It was a bit after 6:30 pm when I stopped at a campsite with several tents close to the ranger station (8.700 ft). This place is well known for a deer who is not shy at all and visits and inspects the campsite often. It seems to search for salt as I was warned that it may chew and destroy the straps of trekking poles during the night. OK, no problem for me; my poles are part of my tent setup, and so protected inside.
And in fact, the deer came along in the evening, and again next morning.
After a dinner I did my evening routine which includes recharging first the Garmin inReach, then the smartphone out of the power bank, which in turn had been charged from the solar panel on the backpack during the day; during this time I read and wrote SMS via inReach, made at least a short report for those who follow my progress, and had a look on Guthook JMT and in the National Geographic Paper Map for the trail tomorrow.