Much has come together to make this next leg happen..
I have hiked pretty much 30+miles a day for a month straight without a days rest.
My brother taking a couple weeks vacation with some shift changes and last minute flights..
We are about to connect to hike the John Muir Trail/PCT section together.
Approximately 210 mile trail through the High Sierra's starting October 1st.
I cannot imagine what was going through his mind the first couple days we met??
I have not seen him in about 5 months:
- Since then I have lost about 10lbs.
- My hair is longer, I have a beard and smile more often.
- Essentially, I look like a wilder, mountainous, more rugged version of Forest Gump.
Day 1 Together:
As we hike from about 8600 ft upwards we notice the weather changing,
The snow is starting to accumulate with every step...
We approach a lake, and notice about 5 or 6 tents set up before the final climb over Donahue pass (our first above 11,000ft)
It is getting later in the day and I want to make it over and down to a little lower elevation before dark.
As we hike to the final ascent..
We notice about 5 or 6 foot prints in the snow fade to one!
We follow them until they stop!
The foot prints turn around and head back in the opposite direction..
I let out a laugh, look at Les and march on up over the pass in 6" of fresh snow
Just the beginning...
We hear warning of the first winter storm coming in the near future...
Over the next couple days we experience every kind of weather:
We wake up to frigid blizzards and have beautiful sunny days in Valleys at lower elevation.
One thing is certain,
The passes are becoming higher and the snow deeper..
A little over half way mark, we are cold and chilled, our feet wet for days now.
The snow is getting deeper, the wind is picking up and the temperatures is dropping way below freezing.
I make the call to ascend to Muir Pass were we can seek shelter in the emergency John Muir stone hut (11,975ft)
As we approach Wanda Lake we are blessed with an incredibly lit sky that puts on a draw dropping show for Les, an American and myself.
Once the skies performance has come to an end and darkness has followed..
We break out our head lamps and make our final climb towards the stone hut..
The trail is over blown with snow,
With about 1 mile to go...I just aim towards what I think is the hut and trudge on up through rock and snow leading the way.
As I look back out over the dark valley there are two more headlamps that approach..
I open the hut and greet Les and finally our American companion with smiles and high fives! The hut is an ice box, yet we are excited to have shelter and be out of the wind...
In the morning we are greeted to sunny, clear, crisp skies!
The adventure will continue...