Not sure if this was a good idea. Would we have had the dewy moisture stuck on the fly instead of our sleeping bags and other items of we had put the fly on the tent? I don’t really know.
This is a high value and is usually considered warm enough for winter conditions. It may be overkill (the pad I most frequently use has been the NeoAir Xlite with an r-value of 3.8) but I am a little leery of going to a quilt. The NeoAir XTherm weighs 2 oz more (15 oz) than the NeoAir XLite. Because of warmth of the pad, I don’t need to have a zipper and can clip the quilt right to my pad. This clipping right to the pad saves weight which is one of the benefits of a quilt. Also, quilts do not have the mummy hood which also saves weight. I have the Enlightened Equipment Enigma rated to 10F which weighs 21 ozs. My mummy bag, which is a Western Mountaineering Versalite, weighs 30 oz. So even with the extra 2 ozs for the sleeping pad, I am still saving 7 oz’s of weight. Ok, I admit it, I am turning into a gram-weenie!
Near Horseshoe Lake, we meet Robert who is also doing the Sierra High Route. He is a guy in his 20s who is wearing a ball cap with ear flaps and a partial face mask which covers the lower part of his face. He is also wearing long sleeves and stretchy pants with shorts over them. He does not have to use sunscreen with the way he is covered up!
Robert and I talk for a few minutes. He will be resupplying at North Lake where he will meet a friend that has been climbing. Robert is only the second person we have seen hiking the Sierra High Route. I was guessing that only about 20 people had hiked the Hayduke when we did it this spring. Even less people, it seems, hike the Sierra High Route each year.
White Pass and Red Pass are fairly close together and we work our way up and down the ledges towards Red Pass. On top of Red Pass, Ray and I marvel at the geology. A large fault smashes Paleozoic red slates up against the granitic gray rocks. It is a dramatic display of forces, the story of the mountains for all to read.
After Red Pass, we drop about 1200 feet toward Marion Lake through a crack that draws us into the azure blue lake. I can’t believe the color of this lake is real. We stop just past the lake for the night. It doesn’t get much better than this.