day 55, June 16th, 20 miles

Forrester Pass Day

Another highlight today!

It started first with a ford at 6 a.m. where the grass and the ground were frozen and the runoff from he mountains wasn’t much warmer. Well, I was to ford a couple of more creeks.

Along the way I ran into Cpt. Syphillis and Gonorrhaea Girl (had to laugh out loud when I heard the names) and a litle later O.D. joins the group.

The trail is on and off covered by snow or transformed into a creek and I try to keep my boots dry by walking around.

From far away I spot the pass, it looks like a small „V“ very close to the sky. So the direction is very clear even when later on everything is covered by snow.

We try to hike/ climb over as many rocks as possible in order to shorten the way across the meanwhile soft snowcupped snow. Again I spot the long switchbacks from afar so it is even more clear where we have to go.

OK, it is strenuous to get there but I find it simpler than Mt. Whitney. And again as we gain elevation I see the last switchbacks on the other side of the chute so the mystery is solved how to get to the top. Of course I do use the iceaxt on the snowy traverse in the chute, but then there I am, on the highest point of the PCT, 13180ft.

A breathtaking view up there!

On the North side of the pass everything is covered by snow. So the descent to the valley proved to be very energy depleating and we all were very happy as soon as we reached the trail again – solid ground!

By that time my boots were soaked in spite of the GoreTex membrane and the GoreTex Gaiters.

Gonorrhea Girl was happy to have both her shoes because up on the ridge she postholed down to her hip and was stuck. It took her a while to come out and was pretty unhappy in the process and came free… without the shoe! So you can imagine she was even more agitated. It took some digging and her husbands longer arm to finally get it out.

Where we hit the trail again we had to ford. There was nothing more to be saved so I crossed the creek with my boots on… I hate soaked/ wet, cold shoes and feet…

The river that the trail followed along was well swollen and I would say class 5-6 whitewater and very impressing and intimidating. I hope the pictures that I’ve taken will show it.

We passed 2 Shoes and Win who were camped a little before and who were resting from the crossing.

What a relief it was to take the boots off at camp! I didn’t worry much because I knew the next day I would be in Indipendence.


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