Date: Thursday, 08 June 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 721.5, 9600 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 741.7, 9629 ft
Daily Miles: 20.2 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 741.7
Weather: Warm and sunny
Dinner: Rehydrated pasta primavera
Aches: Very tired
Highlight: The quintessential alpine scenery of the southern Sierras. Mountains, rock gardens, redwood forests, wildflowers, alpine meadows, and of course, mosquitoes.
Lowlight: I felt a bit under-powered all day, but given there were some long climbs at altitude and I still did 20 miles, I suppose it’s understandable
Pictures: Click here
Position: Click here
Map: Click here for Google Map
I messed around a bit before leaving, trying to work out the best way to pack my additional gear, and it was 6:45am before I left. It had been cold during the night, but not brutal, and although my hands were cold packing up, it wasn’t too bad considering the altitude.
Initially, the trail continued climbing and went over a pass where there was a lot of snow, but not complete coverage. It was hard work to follow the trail and constantly climb over snowbanks, always wary of slipping. I passed by a hiker who had camped there overnight when he lost the trail at dusk and decided he was wiser to stop.
From there it was a long descent through the redwood forest. Because I was so high, I thought I might have some luck picking up National Public Radio, and did manage to catch the first 30 minutes of Comey’s appearance before the Senate Committee, but the reception was poor and I gave up in the end. I did manage to pick up Sean Hannity’s show about the testimony later, so got one perspective!
After the descent followed some pleasant forest walking before a long ascent up a rocky ridge. I would guess I was only doing about a mile an hour for some of it, and was struggling a bit. Near the top, I was rewarded with a view over the Owens Valley far below to the east, and at various times great views in the other directions over the Sierras.
Feeling very tired, I decided to camp at the first place where there was a site to erect a tent and access to water. I found a nice spot all to myself, a little off the trail, at about 5:20pm and was happy to have an early night, though later four Germans turned up and camped nearby. After I had retired to my tent, I worked out the passes and fords I have to conquer in the next three days and a planned a schedule. Tomorrow is Cottonwood Pass, over 11000 ft, with a lot of high altitude travel after that, so I’m expecting a lot of snow.