Vidette Meadow to White Fork River – 14 miles (22km) – 801 miles total
I crossed the 800 mile marker today. Which feels like a long time coming, both with taking time off trail and the lower mileage in the Sierra.
I am absolutely trashed today. Despite only being 14 miles it was a long day. We started at 2am again and right out of the bat we had a detour, walking up stream to find a better place to cross. There wasn’t on so we walked back. The others tried to find a place to cross with dry feet. I saw that that was futile, so I just plunged through as it was only mid calf deep.
The trail then went steeply up to Kearsarge Pass. Where most people exit to resupply. We didn’t as we are planning on getting out at bishop Pass in a few days. The climb then started across snow fields again to Glen Pass. The last mile or so was to steepest, but nothing too bad. Just slow going, and a few false summits. It was light by the time we hit the top and chilly, so we quickly started descending. The first 30m were loose rock, not fun to descend. Then it was about half a mile of steep snow field to descend. It was slow and takes a lot of concentration on each foot step when it is that steep. Finally it flattened out and we had to cross a little outlet of Rae Lake. It was deep, but hardly flowing. I just plunged on in figuring there were more river crossings to come, so why not get wet now.
The next river crossing was wide, crotch deep on me but not much current so was easy to do. Then more descending through snow field until trails started to appear at times in among the snow.
We stopped for lunch at about 2 at a swing bridge and the bottom of the pass, before starting back up. About 1.4 miles up there was a significant river crossing we wanted to get done today. Unfortunately it was rushing too much to seem safe, but others had heard that there was a place to cross half a mile up stream. It was a steep up and a bush bash. Finally we came to an ice bridge across the river, which was still thick. We all crossed easily. Then started to rock hoping and bush bashing back down to the trail.
It was another couple of hundred metres to camp and I just collapsed. It was 4.30pm. We had been going for 14 hours. With a few short breaks and a lunch stop. I’m going to sleep well tonight.
Today, I am thankful for snow bridges.