Date: Monday, 3 July 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 1561.5, 6680 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 1583.6, 7156 ft
Daily Miles: 22.1 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 1043.3
Weather: Verý warm and sunny.
Dinner: Cheesy mashed potato with salmon chunks
Aches: Nothing new
Highlight: More great scenery for most of the day. Craggy peaks, alpine lakes and meadows, mountains near and far, and vast forests.
Lowlight: Was hoping to get a little further today, so that tomorrow would be short, but much of the trail was rocky and technical, and there was a lot of climbing and descending, so my pace was slow.
Pictures: Click here
Position: Click here
Map: Click here for Google Map
The usual 6:30am start, and hopes of covering 25+ miles so that tomorrow’s walk to the road would be short, and with luck I might hitch into Etna in time for a late breakfast. But it was not to be. The trail was just too taxing to push the pace, and I soon accepted that I would get as far as I got by the end of the day. Regardless, I would still make Etna by tomorrow night.
To offset the rough trail was superb scenery, as the trail wound its way northwards generally high on ridges, many of them bare and affording great views on another warm and sunny day. It also crossed a number of alpine meadows, and I kept my eyes peeled for wildlife, but didn’t see anything. Just the usual squirrels and chipmunks.
With just a half a mile to go to my target campsite, at the end of a long day, I encountered a tricky snow patch just behind two PCT hikers, who turned out to be Australian. We all took a long time to get around/across it and then ended up camping in the same place. Later, a German couple, who were southbound told me that I will definitely need crampons for the section after Etna, and that there are some scary bits, though if tackled carefully I should be fine.
So I have just under 14 miles of what is probably slow trail to get to the road tomorrow and then, hopefully, hitch a ride to Etna. The road is very minor and the wait could be long. It will be Independence Day, but it’s hard to know whether this will mean more, or less, traffic. I’ll know tomorrow.