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Shoofly Photography - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2013

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City: Canon City
State: Colorado
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 22, 2013
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Sep 22nd, 2013
Start: Tamarack Peak
End: Castle Pass!!!
Trip Distance: 7.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 455
Journal Visits: 32,674
Guestbook Views: 563
Guestbook Entrys: 12

Pacific Crest Trail Map

September 22

Tamarack Peak proved to be a cool and windy site to camp last night. A
light drizzle kept things damp and cold as I packed my gear for the
morning, eating a half frozen cliff bar as I did. After a quick climb over
the ridge below the peak, I began dropping back to the valley below, and
got an eye opener: Snow! Not the pretty, light, happy flakes that are fun
to hike in, though. These were big, dog-slobber-wet, heavy flakes that
soaked the trail, the brush, and me. I wore my trash-bag rain skirt again
today, and am thinking of making it a permanent addition to my wardrobe
when i get home. I pushed on as quick as possible, both trying to stay
warm and make as many miles as possible before the worst of the storm hit.
The snow tapered off as the day progressed, and I had a nice hike, despite
the constant wind and intermittent flurries, through Holman and Woody
Pass. It's too cold to really stop and appreciate the beauty, or even stop
for lunch, but there were some gorgeous views peeking out between the
clouds. Today, I experienced one of the trickiest sections of trail yet -
there were several major washouts below Rock Pass, which required some
careful climbing, sliding, and lots of scree in the shoes. The worst wash
was probably close to twenty feet deep, running down a steep slope which
the trail transversed. It could potentially have been pretty dangerous,
but I made it through unscathed. Two marmots were huddled on a large rock
near the washout, and I couldn't help but wonder if their den had been
destroyed when the slide occurred. They both seemed healthy enough, but
had an uncertain, worried expression. Of course, they probably had an idea
of the weather that was about to hit tonight...

As I crossed Lakeview Ridge (no lake in view), the light flurries quickly
changed to big, soggy flakes. Those in turn progressed quickly into
full-out blizzard territory. Kind of intimidating, really. I knew from
the start that this weather was possible, if not likely here, but still
feel a little unprepared for how aggressive the storm feels. I was really
exposed on the ridge, so I power-hiked, jogging where the trail was clear,
around the ridge and down the Devil's Stairway to Hopkins Lake. I arrived
at the lake in a flurry of angry flakes around two PM. The snow was coming
down heavy, already sticking in heavy clumps to the trail and vegetation.
It was early enough in the day that I made the decision to press on father
- if it continues to come down this hard, navigating the trail in the
morning could be difficult, and I'll be dropping in elevation all the way
to the border, so I thought there was a chance the precipitation would
lighten as I descended. I pressed on to mile 2657, and am camped for the
night in Castle Pass. The snow hasn't stopped, but i do feel much more
protected down here. I'll have a 3 mike run to the border in the morning
if the weather cooperates, then a few miles past that to Manning Park. I
can't believe Canada is Three. Miles. Away. Not long to a hot shower now!!!

I'm a little worried about the hikers behind me. When I left Stehekin, I
checked the weather forecast, and it didn't mention a storm of this
magnitude when I was there. I think I'm OK, this close to the border, but
I'm worried about those that may be a day or two back. There are some
roads and trails to get out on, but if the snow continues like this, it
will get truly dangerous in a hurry.

Entry 159 of 160
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Journal Photo

Shoofly Photography

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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