Pacific Crest Trail – Day 51 (31 miles)
DK and I got out of camp just before 6 am. Now that all the major creek crossings are behind us, all that stood in our way is snow. This is a great feeling!
We headed downhill for a short time and then began up the valley towards Sonora Pass. The trail had patchy snow throughout which was making it hard to follow. However, we were still making pretty good time.
We arrived at the foot of the valley just before the ascent. The trail traversed on a very steep slope and was covered in snow. We decided to go straight up to where the trail starts a ridge walk. This worked out to be a 2,500ft (750m) climb straight up.
After working hard climbing, I turned back to admire the view of the valley. I also noticed a hiker, who we have been seeing on and off for the last couple of days, taking the same direct approach as us.
When he arrived, we set off again and we’re greeted with a wonderful site; not only were the views stunning, but the trail ahead was dry. The snow is really starting to melt!
We chatted and walked. The new guy pronounced he was changing his name to “Passer of the Impassable” when we reach the highway. He is referring to both the huge amount of naysayers telling us we could not make it and the 3 creeks that other Thru Hikers proclaimed were impassable.
Reaching our descent to the highway we were faced with a tough decision, continue along the ridge or embark in the longest glissade I’ve ever seen. It was an easy choice. I jumped off the trail and raced down the mountain on my arse. It was great fun, with a few moguls causing me to get air and a little bruising.
Reaching the bottom and the highway I realised that I tore my shorts wide open on the glissade. Just another thing to add to the Sierra damaged or lost list and the list is growing large.
I said goodbye to DK and Passer of the Impassable, as they were both heading into town to resupply.
I chose to have lunch and then a nap. When I woke up a family of day hikers asked if I was Thru Hiking and offered for me to join their lunch. I accepted their offer and thoroughly enjoyed sharing stories and eating fresh, healthy food.
After lunch I set off up the hill. I wanted to get another 10-15 miles in today. It was an easy walk up, with constant views of were I had come from. I could even spot our glissade trail across the valley.
Reaching the top, I was confronted with snow the whole way down the valley. South facing slopes have mainly melted while the north facing have a long way to go.
Going down on snow is quick and eventually I was at the bottom. I continued on and at about 5.30 I began to get tired. I took a short break and ate, then put on some music and continued walking.
I saw a small camp fire in the distance, and ended up camping there. I began talking with the other hikers and ended up staying up well past my usual bed time of 8.30pm.