Day 70, July 12, Crabtree Rangers Station to Upper Vidette Meadow, 20.1 miles (32.3 km)
It is 8pm, I’m in my tent typing this while in my little vestibule my pot is filled with food, soaking up the water to make it a decent meal. On the little rope above my head I have some underwear hanging, hoping it will somehow be dry in the morning. I’m in my sleeping bag, all dried up and having it nice and warm.
Today was a day of everything! The Sierra’s have really started! I liked every aspect of it. Let me tell you the progression of my day.
Hard to get up this morning. I started walking around 8 and did almost 9 miles in the first three hours. In these hours I crossed two creeks, Wallace and Wright Creek. The first one was pretty easy, the second one looked more sketchy so I walked a bit upstream for a safer crossing. After a bit of bushwacking I found a relatively easy crossing and made my way through. After these first three hours I found myself facing Tyndall Creek which was supposed to be a hard one getting across. Avner, Macy and Wheels were having a break on the other side and after 6 to 7 big steps through the raging water I joined them. For breakfast I had only consumed a Grandma’s Cookie, that’s a brand, so I made myself some pasta. I like these midday proper lunches, they give me the right amount of energy to kick in some more miles.
We agreed to tackle Forester Pass all together. Forester Pass is the highest point on the Pacific Crest Trail at 13120 feet or 3999 meters.
We took off and soon found ourselves walking over big snowfields, battling suncups, using GPS for the right direction. I don’t want to show off but for the biggest part I took the lead to get everyone in the right direction, scanning the terrain ahead of me, making sure we were not ending up at an impassable rocky slope or a raging river. I liked it a lot!
After about 3 miles we were back on solid ground in the form of stony switchbacks, all the way to the top. Just before the top there was the infamous snow chute but there was not much to it. We all made it across safely.
At the top the views were just indescribable. What a marvelous landscape opened up north of us. We immediately had to start descending on snow so I put my micro-spikes on for the first time and was pleased with the extra grip.
An hour later all hell broke loose in the sky. It started off with some rain, soon it turned into hail and in the last miles of the day thunder, lightning and pouring rain accompagnied us to camp. I got there first and had my tent up in a record time.
Today was a true adventure, crossing four creeks, looking for trail, navigating in the snow, climbing over Forester Pass and four seasons in one day.