The view from Whitebark Pass (10,175 foot) gives us an eagle’s eye view of where we’ve been for the past two days, and where we are headed for the following two days. While the route is short if done horizontally, there are passes and talus and streams to navigate along the way.
There are numerous wildflowers along the shore of the upper lake, but it’s clear that we are a few weeks late for the height of the bloom. We skirt the edge of the uppermost lake and come to a granite bench between that lake and the next one below. There is a small channel nearby connecting the lakes, and a low wall to shelter us from westerly winds. It’s perfect!!
Even though the clouds are scattered, Steve sets up the fly “just in case.” But the air is warm, and Steve rigs his fly rod and works the lake shore to see if any golden trout live in these high lakes. I strip off my boots and socks to wade in the lake, surprised to find that the water is not bone-chilling cold. Encouraged by the warmer waters, I strip off the rest of my clothing, rinse out the sweat, then go for a dip. It’s refreshing to get rid of that sticky/salty feeling, and dry out in the warm sun.
While it sprinkled a time or two, we were not forced under the fly for drippy hours on end. The lowering sun cast a heavenly glow between the peaks, and we dined on the bench overlooking the lake below. With the fly peeled back, we slept under the stars for the first time on this trip. It was heaven!