SHR day 2: Grouse Lake to Lake SSW of Marion; Goat, Dougherty, State

East to Taboose Pass from State

East to Taboose Pass from State

I woke around midnight to bright stars and the Milky Way, then again around 6:30 to sore feet and frozen dew on everything. I shook off my sleeping bag as best I could, consumed my morning glop, then packed, strapping frozen laundry to the outside of my pack. Dropping my pack at the saddle northwest of Goat, I threaded my way through boulders and krummholtz to the summit. After checking out the register and comparing the High Route north around Goat Crest to a more direct line via Kid Lakes, I returned to my pack.

After starting back toward the northern route, I backtracked and dropped down moderate terrain above the first Kid Lake, contouring along the northwest side of the Middle Fork of the Kings River. I should have simply dropped down to the lakes, but instead cost myself time and effort trying to maintain elevation on steep slabs and undulating ribs. I eventually reached Dougherty Peak, then easily descended north to the saddle with State. After an initial climb north that was steep and painfully slow with a full pack, the ridge turned east and became much easier.

After resting and considering the long, undulating ridge to Marion, I decided to drop southeast and follow the bench. After a bit of tricksiness getting down the first rib it was smooth going, but I was too tired and footsore to pack over Marion to Marion Lake in the evening. Instead, I threw down my tarp and bag near a lake SSW of the peak, ingested glop, and slowly went to sleep.

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