Quotation-Lacking Long Run To Ostrander Lake

On September 4, 2009, in Running, by Meghan

Whilst running the trails of Yosemite National Park and pondering the important questions of life, I finally decided my definition of a long run. A long run (for me) is one that mandates the carrying of a hydration pack. Last week’s long run was, indeed, a Nathan-hydration-pack long run over 12.5 miles of trails with 2ooo feet elevation gain to a beautiful little backcountry lake at 9000 feet called Ostrander Lake.

Smooth, sweet singletrack on the Ostrander Lake Trail

Moments after snapping this photo, I ran down the trail, around a blind corner, and almost into a large black bear. It was walking down the trail in the same direction I was headed, and so I yelped a surprised, “Hey bear!” It must have heard the sound of my voice, but it looked for me in the wrong direction. I called again with more gusto as I came to a skidding stop, and the bear looked over his right shoulder for the source of the yelling. Then the coolest thing happened: the bear did a double take before running off at an impressive speed for a several hundred pound creature!

The Sierra Nevada seem to go on forever from Horizon Ridge on the Ostrander Lake Trail.

The dome in the far left background is the backside of Half Dome. Not so half-domed from this side! The air quality is a bit poor in this photo because of the then-6,000 acre fire burning to the northwest, within the park boundaries. Really, the Sierra Nevada is ridiculous mountain range; the granite goes on for forever!

Home sweet home? I wish!

I’ve decided my summer job is to check out various possible backcountry living options. The Ostrander Ski Hut, operated as a backcountry ski lodge in the winter, is the best option I’ve so far found. How about this gorgeous mansion, which sits on the flank of the lake in the next two photos?

I'm taking a break on the edge of Ostrander Lake.

Cheers to the Canadians, eh! Though I for some reason don’t look happy, I was overjoyed to be hanging out at this lake. Curiously, 6 miles in the backcountry, there was a man drying out a wetsuit on the edge of this lake. I was dying to ask what he was doing before I got there!

Ostrander Lake with Horse Ridge behind it

Ostrander Lake is a gorgeous hidden jewel of Yosemite National Park. Shhhhh, don’t tell too many people, but do go for a visit someday! After hanging out lakeside for a bit, I gladly put on my Nathan pack again for the second half of my quotation-lacking long run back to the trailhead!

This week’s long run goal: 15 miles, 3000 feet elevation gain. As they say in Tanzania, “Haraka haraka haina baraka; pole pole ndio mwendo.” Little by little, mile by mile, hill by hill I’m becoming a runner again.

5 Responses to “Quotation-Lacking Long Run To Ostrander Lake”

  1. Leslie's Keith says:

    Ahhh…how quickly things have 'reversed'…ME reading about YOU running up the miles, while I sit injured and pining for the trails! What a strange turn. I'm so glad you're out, running, and happy…and I'll be putting in the miles on the road bike in your honour shortly!



  2. Sunshine Girl says:

    Yep, Haraka haraka haina baraka! It's got a ring to it. I'm stealing it! 🙂

  3. JeffO says:

    There you go again, scaring bears in national parks!

    Now this is the kind of blog I have missed this past year. Lots of photos and lots of adventure.

    Come to think of it, my blog is rotting.
    But I'll tag along with your adventures for a bit longer.

  4. Gretchen says:

    Ooh…backcountry ski hut? Sounds like good living to me!

  5. Mike says:

    Did you see the horse’s head in the cliff? Few do, but when you do its awesome!

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