Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 40 Forester Pass/Kings Canyon

Day 40 Forester Pass/Kings Canyon
June 29th
14 miles
PCT mile 788

Good news!!! I seem to have finally adapted to the Sierras and am enjoying them quite well. My pack is lighter now that I've eaten my way through 5 days of food, so my back is no longer hurting me. I camped alone and slept longer spooked to be alone at night in the woods. The biggest thing for me that I now have to keep reminding myself is that due to all the climbing and the elevation that I can't do as many miles as I had originally thought on a daily basis through this section. I am fully exhausted after 15 miles (today was 14). So I'm taking it slow and enjoying the scenery. My dad is meeting me in Red Meadows at mile 906...but it's going to be a day or two later than I had anticipated...and upon our last conversation he was aware of this possibility. So I'm hoping for ETA to Red Meadows by the 5th.

Today was my favorite section of the hike so far. I summited Forester's Pass, the highest elevation on the PCT at 13,200 feet and then descended into Kings Canyon National Park. Beautiful views and wildlife all around. I met two other thru-hikers at the beginning of the climb and we breaked together halfway up, they had 2 other hikers with them as well, after the break I went ahead and never saw them again. The climb was gradual and nontechnical, and saw a dozen or so southbound JMTers (John Muir Trail thru-hikers) coming the opposite way. The descent was pretty nontechnical as well but there were 3 sections with snow patches that were a little sketchy getting through with a big pack. There was some sliding on my behind and a little bit of crawling to get back up to my feet going on but I made it. I can't imagine what the decent is like earlier in the year with more's so hard to follow the trail with the snow too.

Breaking halfway up the pass

Snow!!! This was just a tiny patch...not the sketchy section.

At the top of Forester Pass

Coming down the pass

Halfway down I was feeling a bit queasy from the elevation so I found a nice resting spot in the shade and took a bit of a nap. I later continued on, commiting myself to 5 more miles and then to reevaluate. I had a second pass, Glen Pass 8 miles ahead. The last mile of my 5 miles started the ascent to Glen Pass, it was so steep, 800 feet in elevation gain in one mile, I was exhausted and called it quits, leaving the rest of Glen Pass for tomorrow. There are 4 more passes of 12,000+ feet and 2 with 11,000 feet in the next 100 miles.

My afternoon rest stop.

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