This morning was our most promising yet as far as the sun was concerned. We did our usual breakfast and camp breakdown in the warmth of the sun and were out of camp before 8am. We had about a mile to get back to the PCT from Crabtree Meadow and then another 12.5 to reach Forester Pass.
The first half of the day was a cruise! If there were cakes it would have been a cake walk. We did over 8 miles by 11am and stopped to take a break near Tyndall Creek. We also took the opportunity to dry our tents, tyvek, and a few articles of clothing in the sun that was still shining bright. This part of the day was all sunshine and singing birds.
This, however, was a tale of two halves of the day. We started our climb of Forester around 2pm and I couldn’t tell you what time we reached the pass because when we got there I was completely focused on getting down safely. We saw some dark clouds above the pass but figured it was the usual cloud cover we had grown accustomed to all week. We were wrong. It was as if someone had flipped a switch, right when we stepped over the pass we were hit in the face with wind and snow and the visibility had dropped to maybe 10 feet. Fortunately, there were tracks from someone who had gone over the pass earlier in the day and we were able to follow those down into The Bubbs Creek area, where we are holed up for the night trying to stay warm in the still falling snow. These last two days have been quite trying but all told we’ve survived and, really, the hardest pass is done and we took our best crack at Whitney. We’ve heard reports that other hikers are skipping the Sierra’s because of the recent weather and our crazy asses are trying to go up Whitney. Tomorrow we get a town though, which will be a welcome break from the weather. We have 4.5 miles to reach Kearsarge Pass trail and the. Another 7.6 to reach Onion Valley Road where we have a ride into town waiting for us, hopefully.