Day 39 – Pacific Crest Trail (14 miles)
We woke up at 6.30am and headed to the highway to try and hitch at 7am.
It turned out to be hard. We waited with our thumbs out for 1.5hrs before someone gave us a lift to Independence.
We waited again. This time only 20min as a passing trail angle saw us and took us the 15 miles into the mountains. We gave him petrol money and said our goodbyes. He is a nice guy!
Now finally we could walk!
We headed back the way we had come a couple of days before. It was a 3,000ft climb on snow to get back over Kearsarge and onto the PCT.
We headed down the pass and back onto the PCT without trouble. We tried to maintain our elevation from Kearsarge, rather than dropping into the valley and back up to Glen Pass.
Now is when all the fun happened.
Glen is a steep pass on both sides and was almost completely covered in snow.
As we started climbing it became obvious that we would have to traverse a 50+ degree slope. There were steps in place from hikers before us but it was late in the day and the snow was turning slippery.
I headed up, cutting a few steps again for better traction or where they had been lost.
Getting to the top, Wolf was on a high from the walk up. We sat there looking down at Rae Lakes and then started our way down.
The snow on this side was far more slippery than the other. I decided to glasade, and Wolf started walking.
I glasaded halfway. Traversed to avoid rocks and them went all the way to the bottom.
Wolf slipped a few times that required easy self-arrests and then decided to glasade. He picked up a bit more speed then he wanted and jammed down on his axe. In the process taking a decent amount of skin from his knuckles.
Eventually, at the bottom, we started to head around the lakes. We could not get around the upper lake so we ended up taking the PCT route except we had to wade through waist-deep ice between the upper lake and middle.
At this point, we saw the only patch of dry ground and went to set up camp.
It was a long day with two passes and a late start, yet we only managed 13 miles. Hopefully a 4 am start tomorrow morning will alter this.