Day 41 – Pacific Crest Trail (22 miles)
Last night was the coldest yet. Maybe high teens / low twenties (-5 to -7 C). I did not want to get out of bed. When I finally did I was introduced to ice covering my sleeping bag.
Having not seen anyone yesterday, 8 people were coming out of nowhere to gather at the base of the pass.
It is by far the steepest pass we will have to tackle, with an angle of 50-60%. Looking at the footprints going up we had two options:
1. Zigzag up the face
2. Climb a ridge halfway, traverse to just under the pass with a quick ascent to the top.
I chose the second option. Everyone else followed behind. I’m not sure if it was because is to was the better decision or someone actually made one.
After the traverse, the footsteps shot up to the pass. They were not quite flat so I chopped them for slightly better traction.
I climbed over the ledge and I was safely at the top — it was a pretty spectacular sight.
We have walked about 100 miles (160km) since the snow first appeared and about 95mi of that has been snow.
We ended up getting nearly 8 miles on solid ground. It still was not easy walking due to trees being blown down everywhere. In 0.2 mile I climbed over 27 trees!
At about 1.30pm we stopped for a break to dry out our sleeping bags. This turned into a very long break and our first real break throughout the day since the snow started.
It is unbelievable how much I’m eating at the moment. I packed over 5,000 calories per day and I’m still hungry.
I quickly ate another meal and felt better.
The rest of the walk up to our agreed meeting point was amazing. I scrambled along boulders instead of taking the more sensible route along the bottom. I took so many photos. And just being alone for the first time in almost a week was liberating.
I arrived at our meeting point to find one rock poking out of the snow. It was a bit exposed, with no breaker from the wind coming off the peaks, but it would be home tonight. It is not far behind the beauty of our Forester campsite a few days ago!
I ate dinner and hoped Wolf would show up.
I was in bed by 6.30, even with the sun up. The only problem with getting up at 4am every day.