Finding Forester

Day 68 To really wake us up in the morning we had to cross the icy cold waters of Wallace Creek, then cross a massive snowfield of sun cups (where the sun has melted the snow into a dimpled sea of difficult-to-cross ridges of snow) before we began our ascent to Forester Pass, the highest point on the PCT at 13,153 feet. To avoid some icy snow fields we scrambled up big loose boulders to hit the switchbacks. At one point we were scrambling up a vertical wall too far to the right of the switchbacks but thankfully Dan spied the path (which is literally cut into the cliff wall) and after a slippery icy patch we were up and over the cornice to the top of the pass.

dna

Unfortunately we’d been so concerned with getting UP Forester, We hadn’t given much thought to going DOWN. We were on the edge of a spectacular ring of jagged rock edges that looked like dinosaur teeth gnashing at the sky. Below us everything was a smooth white and snow covered. Following footprints (and the map) we contoured round the steep mountain slope down to a rocky ridge past ice-covered turquoise lakes and then the post holing began. Post holing is when you’re feet sink down in the snow, up to your ankles, knees, or even crotch. At first the difficult was amuzing. Adam tried dragging his pack like a sled, Andy had a “skiing” technique. But after a while all humour was lost and we were exhasted. And then it began to snow. And the trail was no where to be seen, even when the snow became patchy.

At last we found the trail and stumbled along the path through evergreens in a steep valley of granite cliffs. We even heard the terrifying rumbling of a rock fall nearby. But at last we made it to camp at Vidette Meadows where we ate and dried our wet feet by a roaring fire. Also camped there was Jean Michel, who’d passed us when we’d done Whitney.

We were in dire need of a zero day (when you hike 0 miles), and thankfully tomorrow we were headed into town to have one.

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