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Backpacking to Miter Basin -- Sept. 08, 2013
Sierra Nevada

Miter Basin

Day 3. September 08. Lower Soldier Lake to South Fork Rock Creek.

Awaking to fog on the lake and ice on the sleeping bags, we packed up, fixed a cup of coffee, and carried our packs over the ridge (from the evening before) and then down into Miter Basin (about 11,200 ft). As we entered the exposed Miter Basin, storm clouds began to build, at first only interfering with sunny-day photos. During a sunny rest break, an Alpine Chipmunk came to visit for a few minutes. We also saw Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, Yellow-bellied Marmots, California Mule Deer, Mountain Pocket-gophers, Mallard Ducks, Golden Eagles, White-crowned Sparrows, and Orange-crowned Warblers.

Later, the storm built and started to hail. Lightning often accompanies hail, so we headed for lower and less exposed elevations, eventually camping along the creek (10,900 ft) that comes down from Army Pass where we got a bit of rain.

miter basin
Cold morning at Lower Soldier Lake before sunrise
miter basin
Sunrise at Lower Soldier Lake (view N)
miter basin
Sunrise at Lower Soldier Lake (view N)
miter basin
Hiking along lake towards west ridge of The Major General (view N)
miter basin
Crossing west ridge of The Major General (view N)
miter basin
First views into Miter Basin (view N)
miter basin
Staying high and contouring above Rock Creek (view NW)
miter basin
Staying high and contouring into Rock Creek (view NW)
miter basin
Gates of Miter Basin (view NE)
miter basin
Open granite country in Miter Basin (view SW)
miter basin
Alpine Chipmunk
miter basin
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
miter basinStorm building and rain starting over Miter Basin (view S) miter basin
A forest fire suddenly appears over the ridge (view SW)
miter basin
Granite crags surrounding Miter Basin (view NE)
miter basin
Rock Creek upstream (view NE)
miter basin
Rock Creek downstream (view SW)
miter basin
One of four Mallards in a shallow lake
miter basin
One of several shallow lakes in Miter Basin
miter basin
Hiking towards the sky in Miter Basin (view N)
miter basin
Hiking cross-country in Miter Basin (view N)
miter basin
Another of several shallow lakes in Miter Basin
miter basin
Granite and marsh in Miter Basin
miter basin
A short bit of use-trail on the west side of Miter Basin (view N)
miter basin
Brothers in Miter Basin (view N)
miter basin
Last of the trees below Sky Blue Lake (view N)
miter basin
Yellow-bellied Marmot
miter basin
Cascades below Sky Blue Lake (view N)
miter basin
Storm building over Miter Basin (view S)
miter basin
Yellow-bellied Marmot
miter basin
Potential campsite below Sky Blue Lake (view N)
miter basin
Route towards Sky Blue Lake (view NW)
miter basin
Hiker heading south down Miter Basin (view S)
miter basin
Miter Basin (view NW)
miter basin
Middle Miter Basin (view SW)
miter basin
Middle Miter Basin (view W)
miter basin
Good use-trail on east side of Miter Basin (view W)
miter basin
Good use-trail on east side of Miter Basin (view S)
miter basin
Shallow lake along Rock Creek (view W)
miter basin
Rock Creek (view N)
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Rock Creek (view SW)
miter basin
Good use-trail on east side of Miter Basin (view S)
miter basin
Good use-trail on east side of Miter Basin (view S)
rock creek canyon
Good use-trail crossing Rock Creek (view S)
rock creek canyon
Good use-trail along Rock Creek (view S)
rock creek canyon
Use-trail bypasses narrow Rock Creek cascades (view S)
rock creek canyon
Use-trail bypasses narrow Rock Creek cascades (view S)
rock creek canyon
Use-trail above Rock Creek cascades (view S)
rock creek canyonUpper Rock Creek Meadow mule deer buck in velvet
California Mule Deer buck in velvet
rock creek canyon
Upper Rock Creek Meadow (view N)
rock creek canyon
Upper Rock Creek Meadow (view NW)
rock creek canyon
Use-trail continues along Upper Rock Creek Meadow (view N)
rock creek canyon
Eating lunch and tending to blisters (view SW)
rock creek canyon
Use-trail arrives at Lower Rock Creek Meadow (view S)
rock creek trail
Use-trail at Rock Creek Trail (view W)
rock creek lake
Rock Creek Trail (view W towards Rock Creek Lake)
rock creek trail
Climbing Rock Creek Trail (view E)
rock creek trail
Rock Creek Trail at Lower Soldier Lake Trail, north (view E)
rock creek trail
Trail sign (view E)
rock creek trail
Trail sign (view N)
rock creek trail
Hiker on trail across Soldier Creek (view S)
rock creek trail
Looking back across the creek at the trail junction (view N)
rock creek trail
Soldier Meadow (view NE)
rock creek trail
Soldier Meadow (view NE)
rock creek trail
Rock Creek Trail at Soldier Lake Trail, South (view S)
rock creek trail
Rock Creek Trail at Army Pass Trail, South (view S)
rock creek camp
Campsite below trail junction (view S)
Miter Basin
Golden Eagle in flight
rock creek camp
Sunset over Lower Army Pass Meadow (view SE)
rock creek camp
They say "it never rains at night in the Sierra," but it does
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
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