Road Trip

Going 350 miles north by car or 500 PCT miles. Saved by my Brother Dan who drove to Fresno and picked up 5 stranded PCT hikers. We exited the PCT at Cedar Grove and got a ride to Fresno in two different cars, I was amazed we got rides so fast. They took us right to the hotel in Fresno. Fantastic trail magic

My cool brother driving 12 hours

The PCT gang Sweet Virgina, Tug Boat, Moon Shadow and Happy in the back. Six people, five backpacks all fit inside. 

PCT hikers going north
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Too much Snow

Hiked back into Sierras by myself over 12k Keasarge pass on Weds May 25th. Weather looked ok on weather report just a bit unsettled. However, by 10:00am it was snowing 2 inches per hour. 

Going up to 12k feet over Keasarge
Trail sign near Rae Lakes

On the way up to Glen Pass ran into three other hiker who I climb up the pass. At the top it was a white out with no trails or footsteps visible. The other hikers only had micro spikes that do not work very well in powder snow and ended up stuck coming down the 40 degree slope.  I with my ice axe and crampons ended up helping them down the slope by cutting steps for about 200 yards down the hill. 
Where we came down from Glen Pass

After we got down we had to navigate without any visible trails or others steps down to Rae Lakes which were completely frozen. 

Leading group near Rae Lakes

At Rae Lakes I led us to the Ranger Station, while closed, had a covered deck where we could warm up and cook some food.  The plan then was to hike another 6 miles down 2,100 feet to Woods Creek to get out of the snow.  Two other hikers (K2 and Atlantis) showed up and ended up navigating the trail and packing some of the snow. They saved us over an hour of trail finding. Finally got to Woods Creek around 7:00 with snow still falling. 

Camping area where I orginally wanted to camp

After taking with a hiker who tried the next pass and returned to Woods Creek I decided to not hike the next four 12k passes with 2-3 feet of new snow on top of the current snow pack. The conditions are too dangerous. 
So looks like I am hiking Northern Ca to Oregon over the next few weeks and then coming back to Sierras in three + weeks

While disappointed I think safety is a better choice than pushing through the Sierras. 

Trail crossing between Rae Lakes

In the Mountains

Left Kennedy Meadows Tuesday May 17th heading to the snow. Started off with a hail storm the night before leaving. Weather cleared and have got a dry start. Snow was less than expected but challenging. Had to use crampons a few times on steep snow covered trails. Creeks are starting to flow so they slow progress as we figure out how to cross. At camp before Forester Pass we ran into class led by Ned Tibbets from Mountain Education http://mountaineducation.org/ they camped at 12,500 on snow below Forester Pass and had 50 mile per hour winds in the night and morning which broke tent poles and scattered gear. One student was injured and the group was short food. Ned recommended that we should wait a day before attempting the pass so we rested a day. Ned was also able to get Inyo Forrest Service to pick up injured hiker and resupply the group with MREs. Next day weather was perfect and 18 people made it over Forester Pass 13,200 feet. Camped over pass and hiked out to Independence the next day. Note pictures not in order.   Next week 90 miles and 5 passes 

View from Independence
View up from Vidette Meadow
Top of Forester Pass
Crossing chute on Forester Pass
One the trail to Forester
Climbing 45 degree slope up Forester
Helicopter rescue of injured hiker along with food drop
On the trail across the snow
Almost to Pass. Six of our group climbed Whitney
Creek crossing are getting tricky
First view of snow covered mountains
Solid group of hikers going into Sierras
Resting our feet in Kern River
 

Above Bullfrog Lake hiking out to Independence

700 miles – finished the Desert

Landers Camp Water. one of the better sources

Wow – who would think that the PCT had so many dry hot trails. The last 136 miles from Tehachapi was the driest section of the trail with sources of water sometimes 42 miles apart. Most water was from springs that had a catch basin or a pipe to fill from. Glad I had a filter. I was lucky as there were two angel water caches that helped. Still needed to carry 5-6 liters for quite a few miles. (11-15 lbs of water)

Great water filter and treat
Still alive after drinking this water

Even trail signs say carry water

Tom bringing food and snow gear to KM
Tom brought beer was very popular with PCT hikers
Dam on spring hidden from trail

Getting to Tehatchapi mile 566

The last 100 miles have been great. A 112 mile 5.9 day hike from Agua Dulce to Tehatchapi.  It started of poorly with my shoes falling apart only held together by duct tape. Saved by Brian he shipped me new shoes to Lake Hughes (empty lake)

Old shoes and new shoes

Ended up staying at the historic Rock Inn since section of PCT was closed which forced a 13 mile road walk 
Rock Inn – bathroom down the hall

Next hiked to “HikerTown” a hiker hostel on the edge of the desert. Place a bit chaotic when stayed a few hours had lunch and hiked 12 miles into the desert following the aqueducts 
Hiker Town sort of like a old western
Crossing open aquaduct
Sheep in the desert

Got to the largest wind farm in US. Hiked over 30 miles surrounded by wind turbines. Also area had very little water. Had a 17 mile hike and a 25 mile hike without a listed water source. Water is heavy!!

Hiking in the wind farm
Carrying 5 liters of water ~ 11lbs
 Climbed 3,000 feet up into Tehachapi’s camping at 6,300 feet. 

Funny follow up to lost tent post- the tent appeared!!  Magically it showed up in my pack. 

Akeeoh Zpack tent
The spell worked!!

Megan and Daniel again helped us picking us up at PCT crossing of Highway 58 and taking us to Post office and hotel in Tehachapi – Thanks guys

Flowers in mountains on wat to Tehachapi

Next stop Kennedy Meadows (south). Mile 702!!

Mile 400 – Trashed Gear

We are really kicking out miles. After a shuttle from Trail Angel Megan Repp to Big Bear we have been kicking out 20+ miles a day. We hiked through deep creek and past the hot springs (filled with naked men and lots of trash) 

Deep creek. morning break for water
The 
Creek crossing
Deep creek

Hiked on to Silverwood Lake camping at the boat picnic area great spot. 
View of Silverwood lake

After Baden Powell camped at Jimmy Springs camp ground. Only a little snow on the tents
Next day hiked 23 miles including a road walk to avoid closed trail ( lucky highway was closed no cars at all)
Closed trail. requires riad walk to avoid
Road hiking on closed highway

Hiked another 23 the next day through burned forests and desert. Watching out for poisonous plant Poodle Dog Brush worst than poison oak. 
Poodle Brush. avoid at sll costs
View from burned area
Hiking group getting lunch and water at Mill Creek

Hiked out to Acton KOA and the on to resupply at Agua Dulce past Vasquez Rock

Now at mile 454 and my poles are broken, my shoes are duct taped and my shirt is worn out. Megan came and saved us AGAIN took us to REI to resupply. Also Brian sent shoes to mile 485 so I could replace worn out shoes. Thanks for the help guys – love ya