PCT Day 50

Day 50: We got up super early to attack Forester. I was slightly nervous because, I forget what it was called, but near the tops there’s like a snow chute you have to walk across that seems pretty terrifying. The first of the day was a hike through flat snowfields which was nice. But what are these damn sun cups? I had never heard of them until this hike and they are dreadful. We took a morning break on a rock, and it was crazy cold. I had 2 pairs of gloves on and was trying to use a hand warmer and nothing was helping. Scotty was nice enough to loan me his gloves which worked better than mine for sure. After our morning snack break we continued on, following foot steps from hikers ahead of us as our trail to reach the pass. We start drifting pretty far right before someone realizes we shouldn’t have gone this far. So we started walking more lateral along the mountain side to get back to the right track. It was scary. For some reason more scary than anything on Whitney. There was a lot of potential for an easy slip here. We slowly but surely made it to a bit of trail further up. We were close but now was the snow chute. It must have been an accumulation of the scare I just had and from the last few days but I got terrified and started crying. I didn’t think I could do it. If any of us were to slip, it would be a long ass way down. Luckily my trail fam is amazing and made me feel brave enough to do it, and it ended up being super easy because there were really good footprints already for us. Then we were there! The highest point of the PCT. We did it. Now how to get down? Some people apparently butt slid right down, but I’m too scared for that. And there’s a lake down at the bottom. I remember Hefty trying to use his tent footprint to slide down without scraping up his legs. It was still early so the snow wasn’t quite mushy enough for a butt slide to be comfortable. But it didn’t work to well. We decided to head to the left where Scotty taught us the importance of being spread out in case of an avalanche. Good to know! So one by one we went across until coming to a point where butt sliding was the easiest choice. All the guys went and I walked a little lower before going. Then Meg went. It’s very common on a glissade to lose stuff out of your pack. It’s typically water bottles. But Meg lost her tent poles. She walked over and just said forget it. She didn’t want to go back up there. Then Scotty, being the crazy awesome French guy he is, grabbed an ice axe and before we knew it he was basically sprinting back up the big hill. Jamming the axe in for each step. It was so fast. He got em! So nice of him to do. We find a most legit campsite for the evening. A huge dry spot where we got to hang up lines to hang dry all of our gear, and next to a beautiful creek that had a great flow that I knew would be so magical to sleep near. I always sleep my best near water. We had a campfire and hung out. It was another early afternoon ending for the day. I love camp time. It’s my favorite. The hiking not so much, but the reward each evening makes it worth it. Been out a week already, the longest stretch yet. But almost to town! We have to Summit Kearsarge, which is not on the PCT, but it’s the only way to Onion Valley Trailhead to get to Bishop. The first stretch of the Sierras done…..so close.

50.150.250.350.450.550

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