Campground along Woods Creek(801.5)-Just before Mather Pass(815.5)
Today’s Mileage: 14mi
I was relieved today to see that I wasn’t the only one affected by the endless snow. The guys struggled today the way I did yesterday. We luckily got to camp at low elevation last night, so we got to start the day out hiking on an actual trail for over an hour before it turned into snow. The first four hours of the day was a steady uphill to get over Pinchot Pass (pictured below).
We were pretty fresh and stared off good. By the time we got to the top, the guys were tired, which is rare. I was just happy to not be as tired as I was yesterday morning when we did Glenn Pass! It was only 9:30am by the time we got to the top, but we realized that even with half of the trail off snow, we had only gone 1.5mi/hr. Pine was happy to report that we only had to do 8 more miles to reach our day’s goal destination. Seems simple, considering that we can normally hike 8mi in 2.5hrs. To put it in perspective, we took more than 6hrs to do those eight miles!
All of us had our moments as the day went on. Blister was completely drained from the morning’s climb and got more energy in the afternoon. I was terribly slow on the morning climb and at the stream crossings(which I hate) and I always feel bad when I hold up the group. Blister, Top Shelf, and I used our MP3 players in the afternoon and that really helped me. Top Shelf never gets tired and as the day went on, the snow was exhausting him. At the end of the day he said he thought today was the most draining day so far for him, both physically and mentally. Pine was having pretty rough time and was low on energy. He rations out his food each day and made himself drink olive oil when he had eaten his allotted amount well before we were done hiking.
As the day went on, we found ourselves taking more frequent and longer breaks. The goal was just to inch our way there. Here is a picture of our final brak spot when we were all spent. Also in the picture is Egg Man who we have leapfrogged with all day. We were finally happy to find an island that wasn’t covered in ants so we could lay down!
A couple of stream crossings were tough for me. Each day the snow melts more and they get larger and faster. We noticed we are lucking out on many because there were snow bridges still over them. I’m thankful they are there, but never 100% comfortable crossing them cause they are melting. Here is one we crossed that you can see is already breaking and melting.
We also leapfrogged with Team Legs all day. We ended up stopping just one mile from the top of Mather Pass and will do it in the morning. Here is our campsite. We will go over the patch in the center. As we set up our tents, we got to watch Team Legs and Egg Man go over, so we’ll have an idea of what route to take tomorrow.