June 5, 2014
18 miles today
784 miles total
One word to sum up my day? Epic! The past few days have been top notch, but wow… The Sierra is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on… And I have done my fair share of traveling.
After yesterday’s Mt. Whitney climb I was feeling a bit lazy this morning. I lounged around for a while, and didn’t end up leaving Crabtree Meadow until nearly 8. It was another beautiful morning, a great temperature for hiking.
Owl, Angles, and Slims all got going before Arctic and I, so we stuck together most of the day. We began the morning with a few small river fords and plenty of sunshine. Today’s big goal… Forester Pass, the tallest spot on the PCT at 13,200′. After yesterday’s big quest… This too was a bit of a challenge.
The views were once again jaw dropping. Every few feet lead to something more unbelievable. It is hard to hike when your jaw is on the ground.
We stopped for lunch by another river ford. This one was unique in that the only way across was to get your feet wet. It actually became sort of a spectator sport for those who had already crossed. We watched as we ate lunch and basked in the sun.
As the crowds pushed on, Arctic and I finished lunch and began our slog to Forester Pass. As we got closer to the climb we began to navigate more snow fields. We only got off track a few times. Eventually we found our way back to the trail, only for it to be buried once again. It was an adventure for sure.
Finally we reached a wall of rock… And had to navigate up it. As we stopped for a quick snack break we noticed something startling. Dark black clouds looming overhead. We downed our Clif bars and began the tedious last mile to the top.
As former outdoor educators we know first hand when to climb a tall mountain and when not too… Well as the clouds started to build I got a bit nervous. We were doing what we shouldn’t do… But there really was no where else to go. All points in the area were exposed. We climbed as fast as we could go. We got lucky, the rain/lightning held off. We made it to the pass safely.
And hen all we had to do was hike down…
We put on our microspikes and began the decent. We post holed (our legs fell through the soft snow) a whole bunch. Only minor scratched knees. But it was so awesome to look around as we descended.
Eventually we made it down, a long but fun 5ish miles to our campsite. There our gang as well as many others are camped out. Everyone seemed to have had epic days and good stories to share. Most folks are excited to get to town tomorrow. It has been 7 days since we all were around civilization.
I can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful land. Goodnight to you amazing people.