My awesome friend Nathan was going to Merced Lake so he hiked out with us and took the long way around. We started at Tenaya Lake.
We got to the first uphill portion and I wanted to die. It was like I couldn’t breathe because of the extra weight and altitude. But the more you tell yourself that you have to do this the easier it gets.
We got up to Clouds Rest. The views! We could see Mathis Crest and Star King and the view of Half Dome is one of a kind. Walking up the fin can give you vertigo if you are tired but what a cool experience!
We stopped about half way down to spend the night (with permits, of course) and we found a super cool spot to set up our hammocks and start a fire.
The next day we finished the hike down to the valley. It was a great first backpacking trip and I highly recommend it.
I don’t want to sound as though I’m trying to sell you anything. But I have to say the thing that I found completely changed this trip for me was my Osprey pack. It’s the Aura 65 liter with the new antigravity support. It’s amazing. All of the weight sits on my hips. It was totally adjustable to accommodate the unpacking and repacking I did. And I didn’t get the typical sweaty back because it was allowed to evaporate. I love it.