Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 50 - Forrester Pass

June 14, 2012
Day 50
Miles: 20
Total Miles: 790
Siddhartha, me and Threshold on top of Forrester

Today the four of us - Siddhartha, Denise, Threshold and I - hiked up and over Forrester Pass.  Forrester Pass is the highest point on the Pacific Crest Trail at 13,200 ft. in elevation.  The pass was daunting viewing it from below.  I see a huge granite wall with a large steep rock fall in front of you and could't imagine where a trail could take me to the top.

Soon though, as we climbed closer to the wall, a faint trail appeared weaving through the rock fall.  The climb up was steep but soon I was standing at the top and taking in the view of Kings Canyon National Park to the north and Sequoia National Park to the south.  In past years climbing this pass would have required traversing a steep snow bank near the top of the pass - an often treacherous crossing requiring an ice axe and micro-spikes.  This year, however, the snow was melted and no crossing was necessary. This year is an almost recored low snow year and crossing over snow in the passes will be rare and I have not carried an ice axe or micro-spikes.

Climbing down into Kings Canyon N.P. into the tree line was impressive as the views never stopped.  I winded my way down next to a river with the canyons towering above me to the left and right.  At the Kearsarge Pass trail we left the PCT and hiked toward Kearsarge Pass toward our destination the next day - the town of Independence and then a hitch to Bishop for a zero day.  We camped for the night at Kearsarge Lake after rain and thunder clouds threatened us from the high peaks.

Hikers climbing toward Forrester Pass

View north from the top of Forrester Pass

Siddhartha and I camped out at Kearsarge Lake

The views in Kings Canyon N.P. never stopped!


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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!