Updates from the Trail – Entering the Sierra

With sadness I said farewell to Popcorn at the base of Mt. Whitney and rushed on to meet my old friend Forester.

 On my way to Forester pass I found a set of PCT hikers testing out ice axes and methods of self arrest.  I asked them why they were doing this and they pointed to the pass in fear.  While they saw terror, I saw a late-spring mountain with amazing talus slopes to scurry up.  Some scrambling later and I was at the highest point of the trail on the precipice of the “good Sierra”.

Some folks at the top were from Tennessee and looked at the snowy field of the northern face with great trepidation. I tried to assure them it would be fine: “just remember: you can’t fall off a mountain!” And I was off, galavanting, glissading, and sliding down to the tree line of one of the most beautiful passes in the U.S.

The sierra are beautiful

I passed more PCT hikers gingerly removing their socks and shoes or rock hopping across creeks.  With enjoyment I splashed through creek after creek, letting the Sierra snow melt destroy the desert distress my feet had previously been feeling.  For the first time in weeks I remembered what good hiking felt like.

  • the Sierra are awesome
  • the John Muir Trail in June has a level of thrill and excitement you just can’t experience in July or August
  • I’m running a large calorie deficit

Other news:It turns out I’m in the Sierra earlier than expected, which has messed up some of my resupply assumptions.  Muir Trail Ranch wasn’t open, nor was Red’s Meadows.  I had to Yogi (casually convince) some weekend hikers to hook me up with some extra food to get me to Vermillion valley resort. 

If anyone ever tells you it’s easy to do 30 miles a day in the Sierra over several passes covered in snow, you should probably not trust them.  With that said, doing 30 miles a day in the Sierra over snow-covered passes with frequent bouts of post-holing, glissading, skiing, and fantastically exposed class three talus and scree scrambling really is amazing.

I love the Sierra, and will be sad to leave them.

Tomorrow I’m heading over Donahue pass and into Yosemite.  I hear the pass will be wicked snowy and fantastically miserable to climb.  I look forward to it!

If anyone wants to meetup briefly, I’ll be in Tuolumne on Thursday morning probably around 9AM for some breakfast before racing to meet Allie at Sonora pass on Saturday.

With snowy love,
Jeff

PCT

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Updates from the Trail – Sierra!