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Jack and Barb
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Date: Thu, Jun 23rd, 2011
End: 893.5 Purple Lake
Daily Distance: 14.5
Trip Distance: 893.5
Entry Visits: 1,619
Journal Visits: 387,843
Guestbook Views: 167,248
Guestbook Entrys: 482
A leap of faith - Mono Creek
Just the two of us today. On the schedule of events is Silver Pass and Mono Creek. We started at 5:30 with the intention of racking up some miles and getting to Mammoth as soon as possible.
We are very low on toilet paper as the majority of it got soaked when Barb went down in the river. We are also low on food too so we have rationed our snacks into two equal parts. One for today, one for tomorrow.
Mono Creek is notoriously one of the worst. If you tried to cross it at the trail, you would die. The current there is fast and furious.
The first crossing is not found at the fast and furious PCT point but a bit upstream (mile 879.5). There is an old burnt log that you can walk over and not even get your feet wet. It's a good sized log too!
Then we reached the second crossing of Mono Creek. After heading upstream by following the wrong trail for 30 minutes, we headed back down and below the PCT intersection, found a probable crossing point. It was a combo of two logs at different places. The first log would get you to an island but the log was a bit short so we climbed off the log, went downstream a bit and found a walk around through the water for the last bit. We were now on island number two and there was another log. This one came to an end with a gap of about 4 feet with very fast water running between it and the shore. The way was to get to the edge of the log and make a huge leap to the shore from the log. We were able to nail this with only a splash on the far shore. BUT YOU COULD NEVER GO BACK.
Now we were committed. Not far ahead was a real doozer! Silver Pass Creek. The trail runs right into a huge stream with a wild 40 foot high waterfall on the right. There were boulders that were strung about 3/4 of the way across but then there was nothing but swirling, fast water rolling over what must have been the trail. To the left of the boulders, the creek bed dropped off appreciably. If one fell off to the left, it would be certain injury or worse. We carefully edged out over the rocks and looked down at the water ahead of us. It looked impossible. On our right was this huge waterfall spraying mist all over us. On our left, we didn't even want to think about. Jack was going to jump in and test the water currents and depth at the open spot but Barb said it would be suicide - don't do it. We were wigged out and backed off.
We retreated to a quieter place and consulted our maps. We could not go back unless we could find a suitable crossing below the log area. We looked at the topo and the surrounding terrain. It was practically sheer walls. No climbing over here. We figured we were "up the creek", so to speak.
Then, as if by divine intervention, four young gung-ho thru hikers came by, trotted up on the boulders, jumped in the swirling water and passed through in knee-thigh deep water. Yahoo - we were saved!
These guys did more for us by laying down a good track up and over Silver Pass too.
We reached Silver Pass at about noon and ate lunch just before the pass. It was another easy one.
After descending the pass and hiking past some beautiful lakes, we ran into Bookworm and Two Hats wandering about, looking for the PCT. They seemed more glad to see George than us (kidding). With George's help we were able to get back on track and find the most wonderful walk over log bridge that spanned the Squaw Lake outlet. It could never be crossed wet.
Then we came to the Fish Creek Bridge. You are walking along the trail and you make a hard turn and there it is. A metal span bridge. When we saw it we both broke out in a chorus of "Hallelujah". Boo Boo was so happy, she kissed the bridge.
We continued to follow the guys tracks through the heavy snow. Good tracks guys!
We camped at Purple Lake, mile 893. There weren't many spots but everyone was there. The four young guys, Steven, aka Lone Wolf Expedition, who provided lots of good beta on getting to Mammoth and Hats, Worm and us. Steven had a fire going and it was a beautiful spot for camping.
Jack And Barb Take On The PCT
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