White Fork to 2 miles below Mather Pass – 13 miles (22km) – 814 total
Today kicked my butt. I think it is the culmination of tough days, getting up early and the terrain.
It was another 2am start to get up and over Pinchot Pass, which was one of the easier passes, however I wasn’t feeling it. The start of the day was on steep switch backs up which were pretty much a stream of snow melt, so it was like walking in a river. Then once at 10000ft the snow started and didn’t stop all day.
The way up wasn’t too bad in the snow. I was just fatigued from previous days. But the way down was all sun cupped which I find terrible to walk on as every step rolls my ankle. Not fun.
There were two major river crossings today, but we avoided them by not crossing and staying on the east side of the river until we met up with the trail again.
By mid morning the trail was better because the snow was slushier and this meant that the sun cups would break when stepped on rather than rolling into a divert. However, slushy snow is still slow going.
We are camped tonight at 11000ft on one of the few patches of snow free ground. As soon as that sun goes away, it is going to get cold.
Today, I am thankful for a slightly shorter day of hiking and the chance to rest my body.