Monday, June 29, 2009

Sierra Nevada Pics/Bishop, CA

Today has been a wonderful zero day here in Bishop. I got frustrated in the library earlier due to the fact that I was uploading pictures and nearly had them all uploaded and then Internet Explorer quit on me. My thirty minute time slot was up in the library and apparently everyone in Bishop is using the Library's computers today. So I cooled off, did some laundry, made some phone calls, bought food for the next 120 mile section and then decided to come back and give it another shot. Although I did make one tiny mistake, I added the newest pics to the wrong Picasa web album account. Click here and the new pictures will be able to be viewed, I couldn't add all of them because the web was super slow, I will fix it when I get to Mammoth Lakes, CA in 6 days from today when I will be able to use Kobie's computer that he has been mailing himself to every other town.
Since I left Kennedy Meadows, the beginning of the Sierra Nevada's I was in the Southern California section of the PCT. I am now in the Central California section and the difference is astonishing. I only have to carry a couple liters of water at a time because it is so plentiful, and not to mention ice cold mountain streams and snow melts. There are a couple of new challenges that I have been facing which include colder temperatures, bear prevention (I am now carrying a BearVault, which is a hard plastic cylinder that bears apparently are unable to open. One attempts to cram all of their food into this contraption, but the only thing it is really good for is a stool, and maybe a bongo. I am carrying the smaller one in the photo.) and another challenge is hiking in snow. It's called post-holing. Its when you're hiking over snow field at elevation (depth of the snow if not clear) and if it is late enough in the day and the sun has made the snow a little soft, any step could end up sinking you up in snow up to your waist. If you're unlucky enough, both feet will go through the snow and you'll have to take a few minutes to dig yourself out. It can be quite humorous, until it happens to you. You've got to just laugh it off though. Unfortunately, there are often rocks and even snow melt stream running under the snow fields and you don't even know it so you can get cut up and get your feet iccccceeee cold wet.
The conditions up Mt. Whitney were absolutely perfect, it was a beautiful day without a cloud in the sky. I spread ed some of Stephen's ashes at the top, and it was an emotional day to say the least. I knew he was watching over us the entire time, and I could feel him there with me. There's a good chance I'll never be that high on foot ever again, it was an amazing experience. When we descended we looked back up the climb and were just astonished that we had just climbed up the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states. The next day we went over Forrester Pass, the tallest point on the PCT at 13,200 feet. That descent was sketchy and covered in snow, and we post-holed most of the way down. There was one point where we were able to sled on our butts about 50 vertical feet, that was fun! We've got a hell of a climb to get back up into the Sierra's tomorrow, but once we get up it will be crossing up and down snow covered pass after snow covered pass. I am looking forward to getting back on the trail, and getting some awesome pics for everyone burning up in the summer heat!

Thanks for everyone's love and support!



Jim said...

To tell you just how proud I am of you just doesn't express all I feel. You are braver than you realize, smarter than you think, and learning more about life than you can imagine. Yes I'm proud, but I am also touched and inspired!
Love, Dad

one of the Haleys said...

I have to know if you actually swam in a glacier lake! Make sure there's a picture if you expect us to believe. :)
Wow... from the desert to the snow. That's quite a bit of change. And yes, it's been mighty hot here.
Love ya, kid. Take care.
love, the haleys

PWH said...

Woo Hoo! Glad to hear that 700 miles will get you a change of scenery @ altitude! Thinking 'bout ya, withing you smooth trails and slight grades.

Beryl said...

Amazing!!! Maybe makes all that nasty desert business worthwhile?