The High Sierra

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We say goodbye to Kennedy Meadows, Hummingbird and Snorkel. Prince and Lone Wolf haven’t arrived yet. It’s time to enter the High Sierra.

Me, Simon, Daddy and Blackbird leaving KM.

The meadows I’ve been waiting for. A nice change from the brown/grey desert.

We are hit by snow and rain only two days in.

Because of the snow, early mornings are a necessity. As soon as the sun hits, snow turns to slush. Early mornings mean crisp surface. It also means sub freezing temperatures. That calls for wearing everything I own.

 Mount Whitney to the left. Mount Whitney to the left.

We decide that we want to summit Mt. Whitney before the sun rises. Since it’s not actually on the PCT, that means waking up at midnight and walking 8 miles before 5:30am.

We navigate through the dark and scramble up rocks at the base of Whitney. A little ways up the mountain we find the snow free trail. From here on it’s easy walking. If you don’t count the dangerous ice chute we have to cross every time the trail switchbacks.

We almost make it to the top before the sky turns pink and illuminates the snow covered mountains.

Technically we didn’t summit by sunrise, but it was beautiful and absolutely worth it.

We camp at 12000 feet, below Forester Pass. I am given tea, one of the little things that improve life significantly.

At the top of Forester Pass, the highest point of the PCT.

Blackbird, Daddy and Simon (now “Orientater Tot” because he’s a great navigator and because Daddy and Blackbird get very creative at 4am) by the campfire, the last night before we go out Kearsarge Pass to the town of Bishop. We’ve climbed mountains and slid down the other side. We’ve forded rivers at nearly freezing temperatures. But mostly, we’ve had a lot of fun. It’s time to rest after a strenuous but wonderful stretch.

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