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City: Los Angeles
Begins: May 19, 2012
Date: Sat, Jun 30th, 2012
Start: Kennedy Meadows, CA
End: Independence, Ca
Entry Visits: 772
Journal Visits: 1,991
Guestbook Views: 103
Guestbook Entrys: 5
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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Whitney summit June 28th
As I hiked down switchbacks to Onion Valley by the half moon light last night, I had one of those moments where I was fully aware that I might just be a little bit insane.
Within 36 hours I summited Mt. Whitney (elevation 14505), crossed Forester Pass (elevation 13180) and then Kearsarge Pass (elevation 11706).
Yes, hiking the PCT takes a certain personality from the start, but this particular stretch in such a short amount of time raised eyebrows even amidst PCTers.
I had an ambitious schedule this week from the start, with just enough time and food to pull it off. Then I lost a few hours by taking an 'detour' at Olancha Pass from really confusing signage (according to signs the pct goes in three different directions there). Then I lost few more hours chasing down water in smaller springs off-trail in dry territory. Then my steripen predictably stopped working after a few nights at cold, high elevations. (the batteries go.) Naturally, my carefully planned replacement (Aqua Mira) was misdelivered and didn't arrive at Kennedy Meadows in time, leaving me with a back- up treatment that takes 4 hours (functional but not ideal).
All in all this week was a demonstration of murphy's law when I didn't have a lot of leeway. It was also a demonstration of trail solidarity and as I adjusted for these happenstances I was encouraged as I went along by chatting with other PCT and Mt. Whitney hikers. I have to say this has been one if the best weeks simply because of the amazing people I met on the trail. Miles fly by with good company, even with Murphy's law in play.
Thanks to As You Wish and Zephyr for reminding me to play, Listener for inspiring me (you have to be in awe of a women over 70 hiking the trail!), Shutterbug for rescuing my hat, Carly and Dan for sharing water with crackers and many, many others. This was a very populated section of trail and I'm glad it was!
I managed to just pull off the schedule and get to Independence/Lone Pine for resupply. I had a delightful time 'dancing' up Whitney as I hopped from rock to rock along the summit trail. The summit was stunningly beautiful and the experience simultaneously humbling and empowering.
Standing at the top of the world always is.
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