Day 67- 

Had a couple climbs and then a long downhill into the valley
After about 5 miles we got to zero snow cover and it was amazing after a few more miles we saw more and more people
Hives groups by the time we got to the trailhead. People everywhere. It was really hot.
I was really hungry
Found backpackers camp ground and set up
No laundry
Maybe showers….
Found grocery store
Pound strawberries
Hummus two cucumbers
Oreos
Granola and hazelnut milk
Talked to mom and dad
Feels so nice to be out of snow

Day 63-66

Got to talk to mum on Austin’s phone
The home sickness is real today and the going is really slow which is not helping

My face feels like I’ve been crying which I have been
Really gorgeous broken tree section at the beginning of the day.

Gross semi snow semi ground section

Tmobile is the most useless cell provider unless you are a homebody

T mobile coming in clutch right when I need it most at the end of the day.

Almost to Yosemite.  So excited.
Went over two passes today. Island and Donahue
Then went down into the valley to camp out of the snow.  At to of Donahue I had service again. No of answered their phone but Andrew

Questionable pct acts.  Walking on a frozen lake,  using a chunk of snow that I pushed into a creek as a stepping stone, not wearing crampons on very frozen slopes
Meadow all day till after ranger station

Talked to ranger

Ate lunch in shade

Road walked to cut a half mile off our detour

Camped 

Day 62-

TWO MONTHS!! Today marks my two month mark of being on the PCT!! Even though I am not as far as I had initially predicted that I would be at this time I am pretty happy with my progress, especially considering the snow levels.

I woke up this morning to fresh snow blanketing my tent. AH and I ate breakfast of sorts at the VVR restaurant and then were shuttled across Lake Edison in a little boat by two of the four people manning the resort at the moment. Instead of having to walk the seven miles back to the PCT we only had to walk two to the junction.

We did not have any of the typical water crossings today where we had to take off our shoes and socks, but we did have to cross under a waterfall that got everything wet. We took lunch shortly after and attempted to dry our gear.

It seemed to take forever to get to the top of Silver Pass but we made it. I’m one fourth of the way to Yosemite in terms of passes! Three more is manageable.

Because of the new snow on the ground I decided to try glissading out a little. It was easy to stay slow by collecting snow in between my legs while I slid on my toosh. Most of the time it was actually extremely difficult to keep sliding because I would get stuck in the powder and have to wiggle over the pile of snow I had collected. After a few slow slides I got brave enough to follow one of AH’s tracks down at a faster pace and it was actually really fun!

I think I am getting a little more comfortable with snow but still extremely careful. I am pretty sure I psych myself out most of the time. I know I can do all this snow stuff because I have been doing it for the past three weeks but I also know that prior to this trip I have had no snow experience and I guess that is all I remember when I am trying to calm myself down and needless to say it is not very calming.

At one point today AH and I crossed a frozen lake that you could see some of the edges begin to thaw… Sorry dad! I know you told me to watch out for snow covered water ways.

 

 

Day 61-

Woke up later because of the cold night. Even at 7 it was super cold. My tent was frosted over on the inside of the rain fly.. Annoying.

We walked up Bear Ridge ad heard dogs barking the entire way up.

Once we crossed Mono Creek and were on the last six miles to VVR we passed DB and his new hiking gang heading out.

VVR is a scraggly looking resort. It was not quite open yet but they were still nice enough to allow us to stay there and they had AH and my packages. We camped outside and the people working there made us a big fire to keep us warm. It started snowing a little after everyone ate dinner. Because the “resort” was not open yet the chef made us hikers whatever he was making the other three people working there. None of it was vegan so I improvised and ate a few things out of my resupply box and then got oreos (I really need to stop that) and sour patch kids (and that) and shared them with AH. It was funny though, when I put my pile of sugar products on the counter to purchase the woman helping us knew instantly that I was vegan. I liked her. Very nice human.

Some other people we met a while back in hiker heaven got here today as well. They are planning on stopping in Mammoth though so they only needed to get a few days of food.

Viking let me use his cell phone to call my parents. I probably got a bunch of salt water on his screen due to my emotional state when I finally got a hold of my mum. I was just so excited and relieved that I had finally made it to another check point and that I was that much closer to seeing the fam! I just have to keep reminding myself.. I have only four more passes between me and being able to let my heart rate slow a little.

 

Day 60-

Got going around 520 and had a little more of the downhill stretch to cover before we started to make our way up again. Even though we stopped for a while to fix another hole that had been created in AH’s sleeping pad AND with me leading the two of us we made it to the top of Selden Pass by 1. Perfectly timed for a nice lunch/nap combo. On our way down from the pass I tried my luck at glissading for the first time… It was a pretty pitiful sight. I made it about two feet before I freaked out and stopped myself with my feet. It took me way longer to slide down than if I had just walked.

We had to battle with sun cups in the snow all day and it was exhausting. We went through one raging river crossing but made sure we found the safest spot to cross that we could. After that crossing we warmed up a little but started hiking again quickly because it was getting late and the sun was going down. An hour or so later we had two more smaller creek crossings that we went over much more confidently due to their smaller size and then even more quickly found a tent site to set up a fire to warm us up. Even though the fire felt extremely nice I was way too tired to stay up any later and went to bed.

Day 59-

By the time I woke up this morning I had slept longer than I probably have since I started hiking in April. We have a 20 mile downhill stretch that we will try to get as much done as possible today. Hopefully most of it will be snowless.

(Later that day) Well, my hope was kind of met. Sadly, with no snow there were many river crossings that took it’s place. My pack got wet on a few but everything inside stayed dry.

I apparently have a problem figuring out how to keep my temperature in check. I am either way too cold in the morning but then I wait too long to take my rain gear off and so I turn into a wrestler on their way to a meet who needs to drop a weight class by running around in a sweat suit.

The moment I thought to myself I do not have to worry about dying or slipping on the snow, I fell and scraped my leg…. Blood can now be added to the sweat and tears that are being left on the trail.

We saw a bear today!

We camped out of the snow but it still ended up being extremely cold.

Day 58-

We woke up a little early and left a little after four. Our morning started out with a couple miles of no snow but quickly turned into full snow coverage. 11.1 miles of uphill walking later we made it to the top of Muir Pass around 2 pm. I was extremely relieved and happy that the Muir hut was standing and uncovered by snow. This was the easiest pass to get over so far. I did not think I was going to die once. It was long but relatively gradual. Success.

AH and I set up “camp” in the hut even though it is for emergencies only… Technically we could argue that there was a storm brewing… Which it was. But honestly we could have continued hiking a couple more miles if we had decided to. Because of our early arrival we both took a nap before we made dinner around 6 and then went to bed again.