Pacific Crest Trail – Day 52 (31 miles)
Waking up I still felt tired due to getting to sleep late last night. Talking to the guys around the camp fire was excellent but I might pay for it today. As I set off I hoped for easy, snow free terrain.
Of course, the morning was anything but easy.
I got up over the ridge within 30 minutes and there was snow everywhere. The trail also did not follow a logical path so it made navigation rather challenging.
After about 3hrs of this, as I jumped over 3 different ridges, I was tired. About halfway through I put on some music to distract me and that did help.
The 4th and last pass for the morning was coming up. I decided once I got to the top I would find a dry spot and take a nap. When I got to the top I was surprised that the next valley had no snow!
I woke refreshed from the nap and continued on. The remainder of the day turned out to be fantastic!
First, I ran into a couple of people I spent time with in the desert. Second, the landscapes around every corner were stunning. And third, the trail was 85% dry!
It took until 11 am to walk the first 10 miles, but for the remainder of the day all I did was walk and the miles flowed.
The rock changed from granite to basalt and conglomerate. This created huge sharp spires, crumbling rock everywhere and wide open meadows.
As we walked, I found out how they went in the Sierra. They seemed to do very well, their only complaint was how cold it was.
The day culminated in a nearly vertical cliff with 50% snow coverage. As I approached I could not believe we would get through it. I was wondering if we would have to go down to the valley and back up.
It was not until I was right in front of it that I saw a possible rock scramble that would avoid traversing in snow. It turned out to be slow, but a great little adventure.
The remainder of the day was downhill and as we went below treeline the mosquitos joined us with fury!
We planned to sleep near a lake but cut the day short as we found a beautiful rock out cropping that had minimal bugs.