…we decided as we logged our 28th hour snuggled in our tent with the only objective to stay warm as rain turned to hail then snow and back again.
But let’s rewind
The first couple of days back on the trail after our road trip back to Lone Pine we were so excited to be back in the land of twisting trees, breathtaking views and picturesque lakes. We wasted no time and headed up Mt Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous USA. This was day 2.
The climb was challenging, especially with the elevation, but the views were more than worth it! I’ll let the pictures/video speak for themselves.
Next up was the infamous Forester Pass, the highest point on the PCT at over 13,000 ft.
Again we got some beautiful blue skies and temperatures a little chillier than anticipated.
As we made our way up and down the amazing cascading valleys
fellow hikers warned us of impending snow.
With each passing southbound hiker we got a litttle more information and on the night of the expected storm we were feeling prepared. The rain started in earnest about 3 am. We got up as usual, put in all of our rain gear and started out intending to make it over Muir Pass, the last of the 12,000 ft passes. A couple hours and only 2 miles later we passed a ranger station where we stopped to get the lastest weather report since the rain was really coming down.
The ranger said that the rain and snow was expected to continue all day and hopefully clear by the next morning. He also advised that the trail up near Muir Pass can be easy to lose in the snow.
A little defeated, we set up our now soaking tent in the wet snow and crawled in to try to dry off, nibble on hiker box snacks from the ranger station and try to stay warm. Luckily, Adam had the foresight to download a couple of Netflix shows. So in our little sleeping bag fortress we (surprisingly easily) passed the entire day making every effort to never leave the tent. The Sierras are no joke we decided knowing that any way off the trail from where we were would cross a snow covered 12,000 ft pass.
Dusting the snow off of the tent the next morning, we headed up Muir Pass – despite wet feet, it was so beautiful in the snow.
We were eager to make it to Mammoth Lakes after not making many miles in the snow. So, in true PCT fashion we decided to resupply on the fly out of the reportedly well equipped hiker box of extra JMT hiker food at Muir Trail Ranch. A few more cold mornings and serious climbs and we were happily within striking distance of fast food and beer!
The Sierras have been amazing and, after a full day of trash tv and endless snacks, am excited to get back at it!