I’ve been seriously deep in nature! At mile 790 and it’s been a trip getting here. Took my first zero(s) at mile 702 in Kennedy Meadows, no rest day in a hotel as there is not one anywhere near there, but I did camp in a teepee! (check our my instagram @elsyew, I haven’t figured out how to post pics here yet).
Anyway up until now we have just been hiking trying to stay hydrated. But once you hit Kennedy Meadows it’s like planning an expedition. People have ice axe’s, crampons extra clothes and a million plans. I got none of that. I’m just winging it, with my new shoes and insulated over sized gloves)! That’s how I ended up trudging through a snow storm 2 days out of Kennedy Meadows! Yeah…what weather report? But I survived and didn’t freeze to death, so far. Yeah me.(side note:low snow year does not mean no snow or warmer temps..just so you know)
My dreams of climbing Whitney were dashed as there was just waaay too much snow. When 2 guys with ice axes and crampon’s aren’t going I figured I’d better pass too. I’m crazy not stupid.
I’ve been hiking with Toasted Toad, he found me wondering around, kinda lost, just past the Kern River. Darn paper maps. So with Whitney out, on we went to Forester Pass, the highest point on the PCT at 13,153 feet. The hike up was looong, snowy and cold. I have seen pictures but to see it with your own eyes CRAZY!!! At the approach a guy told us “don’t go, it’s too dangerous, it’s not worth risking your life”. But heck at that point it was either go over or hike back 16 miles, nope no going back. I was crossing the pass with Toasted Toad (a retired special agent) so figured I was in good hands. So on we went! It was all good, sun shining and all, til we crossed over the pass, then it got real. And I thought that guy may have been right.
The north face of the mountain was all socked in! You couldn’t see the trail or 20 feet in front of you. I was seriously concerned, we were post holing, slipping, falling….it was beyond an adventure. But we made it, finally, thank the sweet baby Jesus. I have never been happier to see other tents. Then we got to camp and got snowed on overnight…3 inches! Yeah that happened.
So right not I am at a hostel in Independence, CA with the others that survived the pass trying to regroup and figure out a plan to move forward……