Mile: 835.8 to 853.1
up/down: 1525/3940 feet
Another fantastic day. We started by finishing the 3 miles of snow covered ascent to Muir Pass. With a very early start from camp we were there by 8:30. That was a good thing as we still has miles of snow to cover before it softened. At the top of Muir Pass is a hut built by the Sierra Club in 1931 in honor of Muir.
The gradual descent on the north side is easy walking as long as the snow stays firm. We did have a few dodgy spots where the snow went over flowing water forming snow bridges. With the rapid melt the bridges are fading fast and can be dangerous to cross. We continued down into Evolution Basin, a stunningly beautiful area, especially with the spring snow conditions. Finally reaching Evolution Lake at near snow line we stopped for lunch and admired the view.
Next up was Evolution Canyon, a steep drop into a lovely canyon with numerous meadows and Evolution Creek flowing down the middle. We had to make a crossing of the creek near Evolution Meadow and the high water made the normal crossing more than dangerous. Thankfully there is an alternate crossing in the meadow that only requires a waist deep ford of the river. As we continued down the slope increased and the river became a torrent.
We followed the canyon all the way to its conclusion at the South Fork San Joaquin River. A nice bridge over this roaring river was a welcome sight. We continued a mile or so down canyon to a lovely campsite next to the river. We have finished all the really big and technical passes. Tomorrow we should make Selden Pass by early afternoon. At only 10900 feet it should be substantially easier than what we've been doing.