Whitney Creek to Tyndall Creek – 8 miles (13km) – 774 miles total
Today was meant to be a short easy day. The idea was that we would hike the 8 miles to the base of Forrester Pass to then get up early the next day before the snow turns slushy in order to get up and over the pass.
We left at 5am with hopes that the snow would still be solid and the hiking faster. The snow was solid, but the ups and downs in snow slow you down significantly. It took 8 hours to do the 8 miles. Admittedly there were breaks particularly for the river crossings that also slowed us down.
We had the first of our significant river crossings today. In fact we had three of them. The first one was fine, rushing but only just over knee deep on me, although because it is rushing, the spray as it hits me comes up to about my crotch making me wet. The first one was freezing, it took maybe 30 seconds to cross it, but by the time I got out I couldn’t feel my feet and my legs were tingling. I quickly sat down in the sun and pulled my shoes off to warm my feet up.
The second river crossing was the worst. We found the shallowest place to cross, but it was still thigh deep on me and rushing. The place I stepped in was too deep and forcing me backwards. So I stepped out again, so that I didn’t lose feeling in my feet trying. Then I stepped in again a bit further up and one of the guys came in again from the other side and pushed me and the other shorter girl up against the current so that I didn’t slip backwards.
The third was the easiest and just before our campsite. The hope was to dry out all our shoes, but the clouds soon rolled in. As I write this, there is thunder in the distance. Here’s hoping that is nothing, because if there is rain, that will make the snow too slushy tomorrow to get up the steep traverse of Forrester.
Today I am thankful for my hiking group.