May 29: Zero miles (Kennedy Meadows)
May 30: Miles 702 to 721 (19 miles)
May 31: Miles 721 to 747 (26 miles)
June 1: Miles 747 to 767 (20 miles)
June 2: Miles 767 to 787 (20 miles)
June 3: Miles 787 to 789 and 7.5 miles out to town (10 miles)
Taking a a zero day at Kennedy meadows was wonderful, but we were eager to get back on the trail. We have settled into this lifestyle quite nicely, and sitting still for “too long” makes us anxious.
Upon leaving the meadows, we went up…and up…for quite some while. Kennedy meadows is at 6000 feet, and that first evening took us to 9000 feet. Gaining elevation is tough, but it pays off to be among higher ground. We have said goodbye to desert walking for now thank you very much!
We were super-stoked to catch a glimpse of the Sierra’s that first afternoon! The following day even brought us a little taste of mountain snow on the ground. To give you an idea of elevation over the past six days, we have been fluctuating anywhere between 9000 to 13000 feet. We are very happy to report that we are not experiencing any major symptoms of altitude sickness. Lorax has had the occasional nose bleed and headache, and I feel a bit nauseous and some headaches, but nothing debilitating.
At mile 767 there is an optional trail that leads to Mt. Whitney, but it is not an official part of the PCT. Mt. Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48, and it sits at 14500 feet. Lorax and I submitted her two ish years ago from Whitney Portal (the other side, roughly a 26 mile trip), so we decided not to summit again. I had mixed feelings about it, because it is a wonderful view, but we are on a tight schedule and needed to press on. This is also where the John Muir Trail starts, so from here till Tuolome Meadows, the PCT and the JMT are the same trail.
June 2nd marked the most spectacular day on the trail so far! We went over Forester Pass, which sits at 13200 feet…the view was breathtaking! That was a crazy climb, with a lot more snow than we expected. The current snow in the High Sierra’s is rated at 1% of normal snow pack for this time of year, but that still means lots of snow on the north facing slopes. We enjoyed a good butt-glissade after the pass 🙂
The following day we had to hike 7.5 miles off trail to get to a campsite and hitch into Lone Pine CA. 7.5 miles doesn’t sound far, but it included another kick-butt pass, which just about had me weezing for air.
So here we are chillin in Lone Pine, back at the hot temps of 4000 feet. As much as we were ready for a recharge in town, it was hard to leave the mountains that we are so head-over-heels in love with. At least I know they aren’t going anywhere…but they are definitely calling us.
The mountains are calling, and I must go.
I’d like to leave you with a quote from a very important man in my life. Walk on folks!
“Be safe…but not so safe that you don’t have any fun.” – Pappa Fox (upon leaving us in Wrightwood)