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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Wed, Sep 9th, 2009
Start: Lake Ivanhoe
End: Glacier Lake
Daily Distance: 38
Trip Distance: 2,461.0
Entry Visits: 1,252
Journal Visits: 132,519
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
Before you gasp at the daily mileage or think I messed up, remember that the detour that I was on yesterday and finished today was 12 miles shorter than the PCT. To keep all the mileage markers straight from here on out, when I reached the PCT I added the 12 miles to today's total. So I really walked 26 miles and given the amount of climbing I was really pleased with that.
The day started out with a descent down to the Waptus River where I met up with the PCT. There I met three hikers heading south and planning on taking the same detour route as I did. I gave them a few highlights of the trail and we had some laughs about the virtual 12 miles when I told them I had done 16 miles today and it was only 8:30 am.
After that I had a 2600 ft climb to Cathedral Pass. It was a very gradual ascent and it really wasn't too difficult especially with the long switchbacks that took out almost all the steep parts. Initially it was all in forest but when I reached Deep Lake there was an open meadow from which I got a great view of Cathedral Peak. If you look at the picture it's pretty obvious how it got that name. The final leg to the pass was open and there were some fantastic views of the snow covered peaks to the west, Cathedral Peak to the north, the deep glacier-cut canyon I had just hiked to the south and Deep Lake down below. It was a spectacular location indeed.
As soon as I got to the pass the trail started down. There were some good views on the downward leg as well, especially the other side of Cathedral Peak. I reached two creeks that were converging at a ford that was too dangerous for horses but I was able to hop across and keep my feet dry. By then I was hiking with "Thumbs Up" who I had met several days before. We had similar hiking styles and with his military background and my career in the defense industry we had a lot to talk about.
Then came a 2200 ft climb to Pieper Pass. As we got near the top there were some great views looking across the canyon and also back towards the now disappearing Cathedral Peak. As it was getting late we didn't hang around at the pass and pressed on to Glacier Lake. We were aiming for some campsites near the lake and as we got closer we passed by several good campsites. That turned out to be a mistake because the guidebook sites didn't materialize and we ended up having some fun in the dark trying to find something flat and dry. But eventually we did and settled for the night.
Overall a tough day with over 5000 ft of climbing. Despite that I thought the progress was very respectable.
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: www.pcta.org
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