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PeterS - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2009

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Peter Shaw
City: Rancho Palos Verdes
State: Ca
Country: US
Begins: May 9, 2009
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Jul 5th, 2009
Start: Virginia Canyon
End: Benson Pass
Daily Distance: 11
Trip Distance: 965.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 672
Journal Visits: 136,396
Guestbook Views: 13,743
Guestbook Entrys: 183

Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Matterhorn Canyon

Day 58

We got up at a reasonable time even though it got really cold just before dawn. There was also a light dew that got my sleeping bag wet and then the droplets froze. It was still too cold and damp to dry out so I packed it wet and planned to air it out at lunchtime in the sun.

The river crossing was a little more challenging than we thought last night but we both got across safely. Then we climbed up the other side of Virginia Canyon - a steep 1000 ft in just over a mile. At the top it opened up to a spectacular view of Matterhorn Canyon. Classic Yosemite-type smooth and sheer rock faces were common on both sides of the canyon. Easy to see why it was so named. Then we went down steeply to the Matterhorn Creek and gave the altitude straight back again.

We then followed the creek and after a wet boot crossing we stopped for lunch. I am quite enjoying my new lunch menu as well as all the candy bars. Then we climbed again, this time over 1600 ft to Benson Pass. Although there was no snow to contend with this was a steep and difficult climb. But there were some great views at the top. We were both pretty tired by the time we reached the pass and on the backside as we came down we were on the lookout for a good campsite. We found one about a mile down next to a fast flowing creek and a lovely meadow and agreed to call it a day early. The mosquitoes were rampant but otherwise it was a good camp site with amazing views of the canyon we go down tomorrow.

I think today's mileage was indicative of how tough some of these climbs are. Although the passes are lower at around 10,000 ft the amount of climbing hasn't abated. Looks like a similar day in store tomorrow. We were both a little leg weary today; hopefully we'll wake up with better climbing legs tomorrow.

Entry 61 of 138
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Journal Photo

Mad Dogs & Englishmen

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more:


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