Carson Pass

by Gillian Larson | posted: June 22, 2014

I'm getting very familiar with the numerous passes on the Sierras as I travel southbound on the PCT, crossing paths with the many northbound hikers. After riding briefly north from Barker Pass back to Squaw Valley on Saturday (after we moved camp to Bayview by Emerald Bay), I again continued south from Barker Pass to Echo Lake, with a little detour to avoid the snow that other hikers told me might make Dick's Peak difficult for the horse. I got into Echo Lake as dusk was falling, so I didn't see the sign directing horses around on a different crossing for the dam. Instead, I headed straight across it the way the hikers go, completely startling a man who was fishing on the dam at the southern end of the lake. He watched in surprise as Shyla climbed up the steps to the metal grated crossing over the spillway, her hooves making a hollow clattering sound as she went, then jumped down the other side onto the dam itself, clearing the steps on that side altogether. As we walked past him on the dam, he said, "Well, this isn't what I expected to see out here today!" and I told him, "Well, I didn't expect it either, but I don't know how else to get across, so here we are!" Only afterwards from the other side did I see that there was a different option, and by then it was too late. On Sunday we moved camp again to the Carson Pass area, and I rode back northbound to Echo Lake, but this time I didn't have to cross the dam and interrupt anyone's fishing!


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