Date: Monday, 12 June 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 780.8, 12200 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail next to Vidette Creek at Mile 787.0, 9560 ft
Daily Miles: 6.2 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 787.0
Weather: Cool and sunny.
Breakfast: Rehydrated chicken with noodles
Dinner: Rehydrated lasagne with meat sauce
Aches: Exhausted. Still recovering from yesterday. Felt I was just staggering along the trail, much slower than other hikers.
Highlight: None really
Lowlight: My total lack of energy. Over-tired from yesterday, not eating enough, and still with Giardia symptoms.
Pictures: Click here
Position: Click here
Map: Click here for Google Map
It snowed an inch or two during the night and the wind howled intermittently. It was bitterly cold and I woke to add my thick hiking socks to the cleaner socks I was already wearing at one point. My sleeping bag, and everything else, was covered with a fine layer of blown flakes. Sadly, I had forgotten to take a leak the previous evening in my haste to get into bed, and ended up having to go out into the elements at 3am as a penalty. There were times during the night when I wondered whether I would be found frozen in my tent, but kept reminding myself that I was thinking clearly, if shivering, and would be fine. As a reward, I decided I wouldn’t get up until the sun was shining, and didn’t get out of bed until 9am and hit the trail, after a very cold and windy pack up, at 10:15.
Almost immediately, there was one last nerve-wracking icy descent, but after that was over, it was flatter, though the snow conditions were very difficult for walking, as usual, and the trail of others hard to follow. I had no energy at all, and stopped an hour later in a sunny protected spot to dry out my sleeping bag, tent and sleeping mat, and cooked the meal I would have eaten last night, hoping it would give me some energy. When I resumed, progress was still very slow and difficult. I wondered about the wisdom of continuing with the High Sierras at this time. The scenery is fantastic, everything I hoped it would be, but the exhausting snow hiking and climbing, together with the scary fords, detracts from the experience. I’ll make a decision at the end of this section, which I should reach tomorrow.
Most of the day was spent trying to follow the tracks of those who had gone before through a forest bordering Vidette creek. The snow is like moguls amongst the trees, maybe fun for skiing, but not for hiking with a pack. Later in the afternoon, I was caught by the American couple from yesterday, who had waited and crossed the Pass this morning, also not enjoying the conditions. They told me they had seen the Swede and Creamer, who had had a bad night after their Pass crossing, and had actually set off their Spot tracker emergency alarm (to get help via satellite), but nobody came! Anyway they were having a day off to recover. I camped near the American couple and met Brandon, also camped nearby, who had only done three miles for the day, recovering from yesterday. We are all looking forward to getting to a town tomorrow night, but have to cross Kearsage Pass (11771 ft) first!