“It’s the Golden Staircase, or The Escalator, or Hell.” Unknown Hiker Describing the Golden Staircase
The Golden Staircase (not to be confused with the Chilkoot Trail) is a series of tight, seemingly unending switchbacks that ascend the north side of Mather Pass … it reminded me a little of Walters Wiggles in Zion Park without the smooth surface. We hiked on “Orthopaedic trails” … our description for trails with rocks and uneven surfaces designed to keep Orthopaedic Surgeons occupied with foot, ankle, knee and leg injuries.
We were going down the Golden Staircase.
In reality going down the up staircase and up the down staircase is a pretty good description of our JMT hike to date.
In 8 days we ascended and descended 7 passes: Forester Pass (13,200) Sept 11; Kearsarge Pass (11,800) Sept 12; Kearsarge Pass (11,800) Sept 13; Glen Pass (11,978) Sept 14; Pinchot Pass (12,130) Sept 15; Mather Pass (12,100) Sept 16; and Muir Pass (11,955) Sept 18.