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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: Sat, Sep 12th, 2009
Start: Saddle Above Cody Pass
End: Just Past Pumice Creek
Daily Distance: 26
Trip Distance: 2,527.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 823
Journal Visits: 132,529
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182

Pacific Crest Trail Map

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The Valley Down From Red Pass

Day 127

A delightful day of scenic views. I got a good start and was soon down to Lake Sally Ann. There were two groups of campers there and although there was at least one other space it would have been tough to find in the dark. One of the groups was two girls with two German Sheppard dogs. The younger dog was having a great time retrieving a stick from the lake that the owner threw in. I watched the fun for a while before pressing on.

The trail was somewhat gentle for a while compared to yesterday. I went over Wards Pass and the around Kodak Peak. I had to take a photo of that. Then I reached Indian Pass where a detour started. This next section was heavily damaged by storms several years ago and all the data books recommend taking the detour even though it is longer, harder and difficult to find in places. But the word on the trail this year is that much of the damage has been repaired - mostly replacing washed-away bridges - and that the PCT is the way to go. I also quizzed a few of the southbound hikers who all skipped the detour and said the trail was fine. What troubled me was blowing through a closure sign. Fortunately the sign at the trail junction only recommended the detour and simply warned to be careful of trail maintenance on the PCT. So without hesitation I skipped past the detour.

Just before then another hiker came by as I was having a break and we got chatting and hiked together for a while. He was a salmon fisherman that spent the summer just off the coast of Alaska catching pink salmon. It was a very interesting discussion as he described the fishing regulations he has to follow and the international agreements in place to prevent over-fishing. He was a big supporter of regulation as without it the salmon stocks would be completely decimated.

Then I hiked up to White Pass and then further up to Red Pass. On the way I met a guy that was taking a day hike from his campsite up White Mountain and we chatted for a while. When I reached the pass he offered to take a picture and send to Ann along with a message I was OK. I thought that was very nice gesture as he knew cell coverage is likely to be nonexistent the rest of the way.

The views so far this morning have been incredible with the jagged and snow covered peaks almost everywhere I look. It sure beats walking amongst trees all day. The view down the valley from Red Pass just reminded me of the Sierras and if there were more snow it could easily be mistaken for that area. There was the classic "U" shaped glacier cut canyon and granite rocks everywhere. I was enjoying the view all the way down as I dropped 2500 ft.

At the bottom the trail went around the lower slopes of Glacier Peak. There were four rivers/creeks of fast flower glacier melt (it was silty water, just like Mts Hood and Adams) to cross. The first was White Chuck River which had a nice new bridge. As I crossed I noticed the old bridge tipped on its side by the flood torrent. The next was Baekos Creek which also had a bridge. Then came Chetwok Creek that had to be forded. I found a likely way across but the first rock I stepped on turned over on me. I tried to stabilize it and it rolled over and went under the water. Luckily there was another rock beside it that I rolled over into the gap and that provided a nice stable point to hop to the next rock. I made it with dry feet again. The last was Kennedy Creek that had a bridge that had broken its back so it was a "V" shape. Fortunately the middle collapsed onto a rock above the water so it was still usable but I doubt it could survive a flood level flow of the creek.

Then there was the inevitable climb out which seemed less difficult than I expected. I was anticipating stopping at Glacier Creek where the book said there was a nice campsite. But when I got there any campsite had been demolished and there were downed trees all over the place. I then headed for a ridge but there was nothing there either. I pressed on as it was getting dark and went past a very rocky area that wasn't too steep. I looked around and found a place that when I laid on it had the curvature of a lounge chair. There was no room for a tent so I gambled on the weather staying nice and cowboy camped.

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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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