5/26/2022 4:40:00 AM, Travis

Alta Peak (N#126, T#53)

Nathan Day 83, Travis Day 29

For the next week and a half, we would take my van into Sequoia National Park while Nathan left van outside the park entrance. I was excited, the south western Sierra had been a long mystery to me. I've spent a lot of time in Yosemite but had yet to explore Kings Canyon or Sequoia.

Our first peak would be Alta, a short day of 13 miles on trail. It is taller and has more milage than Homers Nose but we expected it to take nearly half as long as the day before due to cruiser trail. We reached the trailhead and began hiking around 11:30am. We were excited to be back in the alpine. The last week had been spent climbing the smaller southern Sierra peaks, which, don't get me wrong, was awesome, but Nathan and I are creatures of the alpine. We both felt we were returning home.

The hike went great, we moved fast and reached the top in about 3 hours.

It was early so we enjoyed the view for a whopping 45 minutes. The Great Western Divide, where we were headed in the next couple of weeks, revealed itself.

On the way down Nathan found a 6-inch fighting knife in the snow, an ominous foreshadowing of tomorrow morning's harrowing event. Further down the trail we passed a lady who we had briefly seen coming down from the summit earlier. She was slightly above average height and quite thin. I am someone who picks up on a person's aura easily and this woman exuded a dark and uncomfortable energy. As we passed she said nothing and kept looking forward. Later, Nathan and I both agreed something was off but we couldn't put a finger on it. Oh well.

When we got back to the van it was only 5:30 so we decided to go check out the General Sherman tree just down the road. It's the largest tree by volume in the world!

We hung out with the tree until it was time for bed around 8:30 and returned to the Alta trailhead. The lot was empty except for a white Chrysler. We parked a few spots away from it on the opposite side. Nathan walked into the woods with his sleeping gear and we went to bed. Little did I know the event that took place early the next morning I will remember for the rest of my life…

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Trailside climbing