I woke at 12:20, as I said to a frog serenade, it was cold. I pulled my neck gaiter over my head and put my cap over it. 4:00 am comes early. It was a good start this morning and in spite of taking the time to make hot coffee I was moving by 5:00am.
The snow was crisp under my spikes and route finding not difficult. I was almost to the high point of the pass when a funny thing happened. I had inadvertently left my phone off airplane mode last night in case I had a signal and could talk to David; suddenly my phone rang. It was a first for the trail, an incoming call! It was David with a technical rep from SPOT. The wanted my authorization for David to set up the new SPOT device and transfer my plan and insurance. The coincidence was amazing, a minute after the call was over I resumed climbing and the signal was gone. I want here to give huge credit to David and our trail friend Clax. Both went above and beyond, after our friend Steve located an REI with a tracker. I think David went into detail on the complicated logistics in one of his entries, so I will not. I DO want to give them both huge thanks, heroes, they are. David would have the tracker for me when I reached Tuolumne Meadows.
On the north side of Donahue pass I took the glissade route down. Fast but it does end quite far from the actual trail. The traverse is steep rock and time consuming, I am not the only one who experienced this. Was it worth it?, I will let you decide if you go.