SNOWY MOUNTAINS HIGH
PCT DAY 40: Mile 720.7 – Mile 739.7
Monday May 23, 2016: 19 miles (30.4km)
Last nights campspot did not get the morning sun as we hoped but it was a great and quite location. Although we were at 9,160 feet, the overnight temperature was OK. We were warm until just before sunrise. It must have hit zero overnight as the condensation inside the rainfly was frozen. We had another early start just to warm up. While waiting for Hammer to finish packing I did my running drills just to get warm. It gets the blood moving. From our campsite we had a long ascent to 10,500 feet. The ground was still frozen and crunched underfoot as we walked. There were views of snowy peaks in all directions and lush green meadows in the distance.
Although we were at a relatively high elevation, the grade of the trail made for easy hiking, as long as we did not try to talk at the same time. Hammer spotted some mule deer grazing and got quite excited to see some large animals.
By lunchtime we descended to around 9,000 feet and stopped for lunch and rest by Death Canyon Creek. Strange name but a great creek with strong flowing water. It was so nice to sit in the sun and hear the sound of flowing water. By the time we left the creek and started another 2,000 foot climb the clouds had started to gather. As soon as the clouds passed over us it got quite cold.
We were buzzed several times by military jets out on manoeuvres. They were flying so low that at times it felt like they were at eye level. The roar of the jet was often all we heard with the planes long gone by the time their sound arrived.
From the top of the rise we had fantastic views of Owen Valley below. Hard to believe that only a week ago we were camped above the same valley further south.
We passed 3 other hikers here: Two Pie, Akuna and Harold. We were so pleased to see someone else was out hiking the Sierra section. We were not the only ones crazy ones.
It has been cold in the mornings, our campspot selection has been preoccupied by finding a spot that may get the morning sun. We found one that looked promising and stopped for the day. Let’s hope we get the morning sun.