Pacific Crest Trail – Day 50 (21 miles)
Today had some huge obstacles. First was the absolutely raging Kerrich Creek. If we could manage that there were 4 other major creek crossings to overcome.
I did not sleep very well. I think the Kerrich crossing was on my mind. When I got up the only pleasant thing about Kerrich was it dropped about 1-2ft overnight.
DK and I began our slow traverse of the steep snow bank. Always looking for a way across. Three times we spotted a potential crossing among rocks only to retreat because of a water strainer we could not overcome.
Eventually, I spotted a semi submerged log that covered the whole creek. The water looked reasonably quick over the top but I thought straddling it would provide enough grip and the runout was just OK.
After double waterproofing my bag, I sat on the log to test it out. It felt fine so I headed across. Halfway out, in the deepest part I started slipping slightly with the strength of the water. I stuck my upstream foot under the log and with all the pressure of the water trying to get under I stuck to the log.
I got across safely, found a long stick and held it out for DK to have some extra grip.
When she was on dry land we started down the river as we headed for the trail. The going was again slow. This time due to the continual scrambling and pushing through dense bramble.
Finding the trail, we headed up and over the pass. It was uneventful, with amazing views down the valley.
On the other side, we were faced with our next major crossing. It was another huge creek and way deeper than the last. However, it was slow moving. We searched for a log crossing to no avail.
We decided to swim. I blew up my Neoair pad, made sure my pack was super water tight and jumped in. The water was warm for a change and I paddled furiously. I reached the other side about 15 yards down river, got out and watched DK do the same. This was the best ford ever! I wanted to get back in and lazy river ride down the stream.
We then had the next two fords in quick succession. The first had a nice, dry log to climb over on and the last was chest deep and slow.
At the last crossing, I met a couple of people I had not seen since the desert, so we had a brief catchup before hiking again.
With only a pass left to do today, it should be an easy finish. It wasn’t. The trail was either covered in patchy snow that we had to walk up, down the other side and back up again every couple of yards or it was covered in shin deep water from the overflowing creek.
Eventually, we made it to the top and began heading down and looking for a camp site. We eventually found one at mile 999. First thing tomorrow should be a little celebration.