“This is why I recommend walking so passionately. It is an altogether positive and delectable addiction. Naturally, not everyone understands.”
Note:Check out July 25 – Microspikes on Logs and Going In blog entries. It now has an added photo slide show and video.
Wood’s Creek to S. Fork King’s River at the base of Le Conte Canyon
Wet feet all day long is unavoidable and your shoes never ever dry out! Between walking on slushy snow, mud, water-filled trails, and yes you must keep your shoes on when crossing swift streams, feet are constantly subjected to water. It seems so weird at the onset of this hike to walk right through water, but it is in the name of survival! It is also very interesting to shove on cold, wet shoes in the morning. It just becomes a way of life. Our team feels though that they have a very good system. First, we don our NRS wet socks. They are like very thin wet suit booties that are designed to keep your feet warm, but NOT dry. Then we just shove on heavy, wet shoes on over the socks in the morning and keep them on all day. No blisters and our feet stay pretty warm.
Just as we were leaving camp this morning, we met PCT hikers: Foxfeather, Honeybee, Gnarly, Cherry Picker, Grenade, and Rhino on the other side of the really cool suspension bridge over Wood’s Creek. They were worried about the upcoming creek crossing and passes. Honeybee had fallen off a rolling log the day before and her team built a fire to warm and dry her off. It is the very same log stream crossing in the video below.
The climb up Pinchot Pass, elevation 12, 150 was long and the sun felt like an inferno radiating off the snow. Something I have never experienced before in the Sierras. We used our GPS several times to find our way as the trail was snow-covered and footprints had all but melted. Our team is really getting into a rhythm and groove. Silly Chili is really learning quickly where the trail goes and he is always in the lead. Dan follows me, mainly to make sure I am okay. It works great and I am thrilled. Pinchot Pass was steeper than anticipated but was fun. I love the combination of all this equipment. Upon topping each pass I am awed at the bigness of it all and the amount of snow is unbelievable. I came so I could see my Sierras under this blanket, but I often feel sad that the majority of PCTers have never been to the Sierras and are missing the pristine blue lakes, wildflowers, and rock formations.
We crossed several gnarly streams today that were quite exhilarating. Two crossings were on logs where water was washing over the top as if to snatch a hiker away. I had a lot of help from both Dan and Silly Chili. At the end of the day, we had a surprise and ran into Wandering Dot, who stayed at our home when she was passing through Tehachapi. It was at a very difficult crossing. Her team decided to spend the night in hopes the water level would go down overnight. Sometimes streams can rise a foot in the afternoon due to snow melt and subside in the morning. But not Silly! He just went right through. We all closed our eyes. So guess what I had no choice but to cross. Thank you team and my microspikes.
Tomorrow we are climbing Mather Pass which we have been told is the most difficult because of the cornice at the top. The boys are going to love it. By the way, there are no mosquitoes at any elevation, most likely because of the lingering deep snow. Gotta love it.