DAY 6 - Barret Lake to Parcher’s Resort (Resupply)

Distance: 18.3km (11.4mi)
Hiking time: 08:08hr
Elevation gain: 1,040m (3,412ft)
Total people met: 10+
‘Without question, Dusy Basin is the most verdant
High Route locale since Marion Lake’ - Steve Roper

Elevation versus Distance graph for the section from Barret Lake to Parcher's Resort / Bishop for the Sierra High Route
The night was extremely cold, we both did not sleep well as we would not get warm. In the morning, we checked our clothes and found them frozen, everything that we wore yesterday froze: gloves, shoes, pants, jackets, just everything. As the weather did not look very promising, we decided to ditch our regular oatmeal breakfast and just go with a quick snickers instead. We needed to keep moving to get warm. We collected our bear proof boxes and to our surprise, they were frozen as well. It took us about 15min to get the plastic and the ice around it warm enough to open it. I put the boxes in my down sleeping bag to melt the ice. Once we had our food, we got dressed in our frozen shoes, put on an extra layer of socks, packed up everything and walked. Our motivation was again at a minimum, especially for me. Zeno’s fingers were so cold that we had to stop a couple of times to make them warm. After about 1hr we reached the top of Knapsack Pass and the sun was slowly coming out warming our layers. What a night. We were so happy about the warmth of the sun.

Slowly we realized how cold was. The mountain peaks were all covered with a thin layer of snow. The scenery was just breathtaking and we were happy to get to our first resupply station today. On one hand, this means a full and heavy backpack again, but on the other hand, it was our first mayor accomplishment, finishing 1/3 of the SHR in 6 days, what a great feeling. Additionally, showers are provided at the Parcher’s Resort, which sounds amazing after 6 days with limited personal hygiene.

The descend from Knapsack pass was easy and Zeno had the good idea of shortcutting our path to Bishop pass. The SHR now continues towards Dusy Basin, but we had to go over Bishop Pass to reach the Parcher’s resort. On the next day, we would come back from the Pass and join the SHR again to go to Dusy Basin. But for now, we contoured diagonally to reach the Bishop pass trail. At this point, we realized how high the pass is (3,600m) and we knew it will be a strenuous trip up the pass. At least we did not have to worry about the route finding once we hit the trail. On the way up to the trail we met two hikers who were on an overnight trip to the Lower Dusy Basin. Today, we would encounter people again, it is always a weird feeling after a couple of days alone in the wild. Once we hit the pass, the descend through marvellously constructed switchbacks was technically not difficult but long. The trail passes through several meadows with beautiful lakes. The whole scenery is just amazing. We met a lot of day hikers and fisherman enjoying the landscape.

A texan guy we met along the trail, told us that the Parcher’s resort also has small basic cabins for rent. These were heated and offered there own bathroom and a comfortable bed. Our plan was to just pitch our tent there, but the mere thought of having a warm cabin after our super cold night, was just to perfect. We decided to get one even if they would be expensive. On the whole way down, we made plans what we would do for the rest of the afternoon, repack our bags, dry our clothes, get warm, enjoy a comfy bed and more. By around 4:30pm we finally reached the Resort and they told us they just rented out their last cabin… We were really sad, all of our plans were destroyed and we had to camp out for another cold night.

We took our time at the resort, to go through our resupply boxes and repack our packs. We had quite some snacks leftover from the first section. The altitude made it really hard for both of us to eat all of our planned snacks. We decided to downsize our calorie intake by a bit so that we will be able to finish all food and our packs would be a bit lighter. We were repacking on the porch of the resort, the sun was shining and our initial depression of not having a cabin for the night slowly faded over time. We met 4 lovely older ladies who rent a cabin for the weekend and they were so interested in what we were doing and so impressed. This nice interaction turned our mood back up. We said to ourself, if we wanna go hiking in the wilderness for 21 days, we should not cheat by renting a cabin, so we were happy about our camp. After repacking, we went on a nice 10min hot shower and walked to the campsite 1/2 mile further down the street, Willows Campground.

The campground was governed by the state and was very basic. We made dinner and went to bed early. The forecast for that night was the coldest we had so far, luckily we were camping in lower elevations. Still the night was cold and we did not sleep very well. Fortunately, the weather forecast for the next days promised us warmer weather again which was great.

Wearing all layers we have to stay warm and unfreeze our shoes. 
You can see the snow-covered tips high up the mountains.

Descending Knapsack pass and looking up. 

Zeno and some endless Talus. 

One of the lakes in Dusy Basin.

Refilling out water and drying our pants before heading up towards Bishop Pass. 

Our camping spot at Willows Campground.