Saturday, July 9, 2016

Mildred Lakes Dayhike Plus a Rockslide

We had a terrifying experience in the mountains today, well I was terrified anyway. I have never experienced this before. We were hiking in a very narrow valley on the Mildred Lakes trail at 8:30 pm when we thought we heard thunder. Soon it became clear that it was a rock slide coming down the mountain directly above us and it was getting louder and louder and closer and closer. 

Running up or down the trail was not at option, there was no way to tell where the rock slide was going to cross the trail and it was getting louder and closer and the ground was beginning to shake a little. Since we we in such a narrow valley I decided to run straight up the valley opposite the side that the rock slide was coming from. I hoped that the rocks would stop at the valley floor and not bounce up at the bottom, or even worse fill up the bottom and reach us. We ran up the hill until we were out of breath and then stood behind a giant old growth log. The noise began to subside after we stopped, but the rocks were still coming and a few of them sounded quite close to us. We were fine, none of the rocks even reached the trail, but it was really terrifying. 

For all I knew half of the mountainside was coming down. In retrospect, it probably was not a very big rock slide at all, but it was VERY loud and it was headed straight for us. 

A very rare wild chicken nest at the upper lake

Middle Mildred Lake

Upper Mildred Lake and the Sawtooths

Mount Cruiser

Algae in a tarn.

This is the trail

Our position when the rock-slide started

Google Earth images show lots of rock slide activity on the side of Mount Pershing

Entire route

Middle Mildred Lake

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