This post won’t be as detailed since I didn’t have much time to write but I have plenty of good pictures.
Days 65 – 70 (n/a)
Like I said in the last post my group went on a roadtrip for a week to let the snow melt a little. We ended up going to Death Valley, Zion, Vegas (briefly, thankfully), and the Grand Canyon! Here’s some of the best pictures from the trip.
All in all it was a great roadtrip. When we got back we still had to make a decision about going into the Sierras again. Everyone decided to go back in except Sunny who would flip up to the Canadian border and hike south. It was sad losing someone from our group but it was the right decision for her to flip ahead since she wasn’t confident about the mountains.
Day 71 (9 miles off trail)
Today we just hiked the Kearsarge pass side trail back from town into the Sierras. It was beautiful as always, even with the soft snow. Unfortunately the 9 miles weren’t getting us any farther along the PCT, just back on it.
The hardest part was actually just hitching from town to the trailhead which took around 3 hours and several different cars.
Late in the evening some fog moved in and made for a very eerie and chilly camp.
Day 72 (mile 789 – 800)
Today we climbed the second of 5 major high passes in the Sierra – Glenn pass. Thankfully this one wasn’t as bad as Forester but the descent was still a little worrying as you can see in the pictures.
After the pass we followed some beautiful lakes down into a valley without snow.
We had to do some waist deep river crossings but thankfully the water wasn’t swift. It was unbelievably cold thpugh.
Day 73 (mile 800 – 812)
Today we crossed the 800 mile mark and did some more early morning river crossings. Freezing cold as always but nothing too difficult yet.
We did pass 3 of 5 today – Pinchot pass. This one was definitely the easiest so far.
Just to give you an idea of the kind of snow we’re walking in – see below. This is what the snow looks like 90% of the time and it’s so difficult to walk on because there are no level surfaces to step on.
Cowboy camped by the river with an incredible view.
Day 74 (mile 812 – 831)
The stars were great but my quilt completely froze overnight so I probably should have set up my tent.
We did Mather Pass today, the hardest of the 5 major passes. Most people climbed up the snow to the right but we went up the left.
It was a fun scramble but definitely a little more dangerous than I’d like.
After the pass we descended into the most incredible snow free valley. Here I am celebrating the snow free switchbacks.
I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking, but there were flowers and all kinds of new trees, crystal clear rivers, waterfalls, meadows, and tons of wildlife. It was a welcome break from the snow.
Most of the time the trail was flooded because of all the melt.
Day 75 (13 miles off trail)
Today we’d take a 13 mile side trail into town to resupply. We encountered our first really difficult river crossing here. Parts were waist deep and incredibly swift.
Thankfully the pass was easy and we had a beautiful lake view down by the trailhead.
We got a hitch with the first car we saw which had never happened before. Off to town for a couple days to resupply and recover then back in!