Tyndall Creek to Vidette Meadow – 12 miles (19 km) – 786 miles total
Today was an exciting day. Forrester Pass the highest point of the PCT at 13124ft or 4000m. We were up and left by 2am to do the pass while the snow was still hard. Again we had moonlight. It was either a full moon or very close to it.
It was a lot of trudging up along snowfields, but an easier gradient than Whitney snowfields. Then the fun began. The crampons went on and the ice axes came out as we made our way up the steep mountain side as the switchbacks were all covered in snow.
It actually was better than I thought it would be. I’m not afraid of heights but I have a respect of them, but thankfully this didn’t freak me out at all. Maybe because it was still darkish in the moonlight and couldn’t see the extent of the down or maybe it wasn’t that bad. We then got to some snow free switchbacks and were soon at the infamous Forrester Pass chute. Again it was ok. We took it slowly and one person at a time. The worst was coming off the chute as snow was banked up against the rock face making that a tight squeeze.
Then we were at the top celebrating with photos and food.
The trip down was all snowfields and was time consuming as much of it was suncupped making walking normally hard and ankle twisting.
By the time we got to tree line there was a river to cross. Thankfully we found a log to cross on, but it is still a little nerve wracking with the water gushing under you.
We then walked another mile for lunch at 10.30am and had a snooze in the sun, until it started to rain on us. We packed up and had plans to get halfway up the next pass to make tomorrow easier, but when we got to the bottom of the descent. There was a lovely campsite, which none of us could pass up. The sun had come back out at this point so we attempted to dry shoes and socks. Then the rain came down again, so we retreated to our tents. Then it cleared up. So we sat around cooking dinner at 4pm as another couple came over to us, who were camped 10m away, saying there was a bear over there. My first black bear. So exciting. He wasn’t too interested in us, but did keep fossicking in the area for bugs in the dead trees.
All my food and anything smelly is all in my bear canister tonight. As I lay in my tent writing this a thunderstorm has come in and is directly overhead.
Today I am thankful for the ability to navigate tricky passes.