170928 – Granite Chief Wilderness

Day:  158
Date:  Thursday, 28 September 2017
Start:  Camped by the trail at Mile 1127.0, 7992 ft
Finish:  Camped by the trail at Mile 1143.9, 7740 ft
Daily Miles:  16.9 PCT
Total PCT Miles:  2464.5
Weather:  Mild and sunny
Accommodation:  Tent
     Breakfast:  Pop tarts
     Lunch:  Gorp
     Dinner:  Rehydrated Mexican style rice with chicken
Aches:  None really
Highlight:  The morning walk high along the side of a bare rocky ridge in the Granite Chief Wilderness with views across the valley and mountains to the west, and occasional views to Lake Tahoe in the east, in perfectly still conditions with superb visibility was magic.
Lowlight:  None really.
Pictures:  Click here

Position:  Click here.
Map:  Click here for Google Map

Rob and I were underway by 7:00am on a cool and very still morning and after a steady climb entered the Granite Chief Wilderness at a high saddle with great views.  From there we followed a long ridge (see above) on the other side of which were a number of ski areas, including the famous Squaw Valley.  It was a fabulous dress circle walk, interrupted only occasionally by a buzzing helicopter.

At the end of the ridge, we descended to cross a small valley where we had a break for lunch in the sun, then spent much of the afternoon climbing up to pass over the shoulder of the Granite Chief mountain, crossing the headwaters (just a little creek) of the American River on the way.  The climb was long, on what had become a warm afternoon, but the great views and beautiful boulder-strewn forest in the high valleys were worth it.

The last part of the afternoon involved a long rocky descent followed by a short sharp climb to another high valley where we found a beautiful campsite in a pine forest lit by the light of a setting sun at around 5:30pm.  We were happy to be in our tents by soon after 7:00pm, and plan an early start tomorrow for the remaining 10 miles to Donner Pass Road from where we will hitchhike down to Truckee, and Rob will begin his journey back to Connecticut, and I will resupply for the next leg.

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