From between 2 small lakes to Lower Palisade Lake
Distance: 22km Elevation Gain: 960m

Had to reset my GPS watch so I have two maps. You can see that I headed into the wrong bowl initially as I made a rookie navigational error. I was hiking to Frozen Lake Pass and I knew that the pass was to the left of the Vennacher Needle but I didn’t sight the needle with my compass. I visually mistook the peak above for Vennacher. Expensive mistake. It cost me a lot of time and energy as I had to hike down and then back up on steep boulders, ugh.
Went over Frozen Lake Pass and down many many large boulders on the other side leading to the John Muir Trail. I followed the trail up and over Mather Pass and continued on to the Lower Palisade Lake where I camped for the night.
Early morning glassy lake
Mountains surrounding an area called Lake Basin
On my way to Frozen Lake Pass. That peak in the middle is what I mistakenly thought was the Vennacher Needle. I ended up on the left side of that peak and when I realized my mistake I had to go around the base and hike up on the right side. Such a rookie move but I learned an important lesson, confirm your damn landmarks!
Pretty little lake below Frozen Lake Pass. The pass is on the left side of that triangular wedge
At the base of Frozen Lake Pass
I made it to the top of Frozen Lake Pass! Suddenly I felt so much more energetic.
The view from 1/2 way down. When I reached the bottom of the first section of boulders there was a patch of snow with a little creek of melt water flowing on top. I filled up my water bottles and drank what was the most delicious water I had ever tasted, so incredibly cold and refreshing.
Peaks beside Mather Pass
Heading towards the Palisade Lakes. It looks desolate but it was breathtaking
View from the top of Mather Pass
The John Muir Trail – I so appreciated this trail after slugging it out for many hours off trail.
Interesting black features on the rocks as I approached the end of my day
The sun’s rays welcomed me to the Lower Palisade Lake where I could eat, rest and recover from a challenging day. My stomach issues were improving but I still couldn’t eat more than 1,000 calories a day. Despite that my energy was good but I was frustrated that my pack wasn’t getting lighter as quickly as I had hoped for.

I set up the tent, ate a little and fell asleep at 7:30pm as I was completely wiped out after hiking 11 1/2 hours. Waking up 2 1/2 hours later I wrote up my journal for the day. The navigational mistake had made the day tougher and yet there was an even worse setback that happened a few hours after that.

For about an hour I had hiked down from Frozen Lake Pass on the endless boulder field (chair size to truck size) and was occasionally jumping down from one to the next to speed up my progress. The impact of jumping must have caused my water filter to pop out of my front backpack pocket. I had no idea it was gone until almost reaching the end of the boulder field later.

I’ll miss you!

I was gutted, there was no point going back as the filter was almost guaranteed to have fallen or rolled down between the rocks to disappear into the gaps between them. Even if I went back there was no way to retrace my exact path. Not good at all! Well I thought, at least I have water treatment tablets. Unknown to me at the time, I was soon going to have to make a big decision.

Day 3 Day 5
Or Choose Day Below