Miles walked: 18.9
|Water and Snow|
It started in the morning as Tapeworm, Opera, Peanut Butter, and Chilly Bin were heading out of camp around 7:00 am to go climb Mt. Whitney. HoosierDaddy was also staying in camp so he would be able to hike with this group. We all knew that with Kate, Ziploc, and myself hiking on today that we may not see each other for a while, so hugs were shared and feelings openly communicated. I choked back tears with each person’s embrace. I’m going to miss each one of these great people more than they’ll ever know. I hope we can meet back up again soon.
Leaving much later than normal, Kate, Ziploc, and I hiked a bonus mile back to the PCT not even imagining how our day would turn out.
Less than a mile later we forded Wright Creek, which was also not too bad, but it was cold. At the top of a climb after Wright Creek which was above the tree line, I walked off trail about 1/10 of a mile to wash my shirt in a crystal clear alpine lake. It was simply stunning.
We leapfrogged with a couple hikers named Monster and Cheez-It. They would end up climbing up the Pass with us for the later half of the ascent which got more and more dicey as we gained elevation. Forester Pass is the highest point on the PCT at 13,200 feet. The snow started in small patches around 11,400 feet. By 12,000 feet there was more snow than rock and much of the snow was covering semi-frozen alpine lakes. The trail was hidden for much of the climb. I led the group across rock ribs and across snowfields with the occasional punching through the snow up to my knee, sometimes my thigh.
|Ziploc on show chute|
|Kate on snow chute|
|Ziploc, Kate, Circus Act on Forester Pass|
We still had a long descent left, and we had no idea that it would take us just under three hours to cover the next two miles.
The trail was so full of water from melting snow that it was basically like walking down a creek. My feet were so wet already that I just got to the point where I gave zero fucks. I splashed right down the center of the trail, water reaching my calves.
|water from snow melt|
|End of Day view|
I hope the rest of our trail family hits this pass earlier in the day when the snow is more solid.
Tomorrow we’ll hike six more PCT miles to Kearsarge Pass and then 7.5 bonus miles. There’s a shower, laundry, and hopefully a burger with a pound of bacon awaiting me.
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