Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 11 - Climbing Hell

Day 11
May 6, 2012
Miles:  18
Total Miles:  175

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Hikers enjoying dinner at camp 4 miles from Saddle Junction in the San Jacintos
Today was the most physically challenging day yet.  I climbed up into the San Jacinto Mountains (San Bernardino Forest) from 5500 feet elevation to about 8200 feet elevation.  The entire day was one steep section after another.  The original plan was to get to mile 179 at Saddle Junction, but a few miles early and after an exceptionally steep section, I crawled into a nice camp site that looked too good to pass up.  Each mile up here is like 2-3 miles on more level terrain.  Each step is like climbing stairs - and often you find yourself using hiking poles to literally pull yourself up the trail.  Each short level section holds brief moments of release when your legs can relax and, for a few seconds, you can stand upright instead of in the forward hunched-over climbing posture. 

The site had amazing views from over 8000 feet above the desert floor.  Water was short - I barely had enough to make dinner - but tomorrow would bring water only a few miles down the trail at a spring.


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PCT Northern Terminus

PCT Northern Terminus
On September 30, 2012 I reached the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thanks to everybody who supported and followed my journey. It was a life-changing experience!