Matterhorn Creek to Seavey Pass – 13 miles (21km) -975 miles total.
Once again the Sierra has burst the best laid plans. The aim was to make it 17 miles and over two passes today. That didn’t happen.
17 miles should have been achievable, particularly when the first pass was 10000ft and the second only 9000ft. That’s nothing compared to the passes we have done.
The start of the day was fine. Nice snow free trail, then some elevation gain and some rivers to cross but nothing bad. Then the serious elevation gain started with snow patches, but again nothing too bad, just slow going with the elevation gain. Even at the top of the pass the snow on the north face was ok until we dropped down to Smedberg lake. By that time I thought most of the snow was over, but it had only just begun. Snow fields, upon snow fields, then a trek back up, with snow covering the trail making route finding hard. Then the descent from their was snow and more snow until mid way down when it cleared again. By that time it was lunch time and it had been so slow that we had a nice long lunch for moral boost.
The original plan was to get up and over the next pass, but we knew at that stage it probably wasn’t likely, considering the notes said that the traverse down from the next pass was sketchy in slushy snow. So we crossed a few rivers and slowly made our was up Seavey Pass. Made the decision to camp on the pass and do the descent in hard snow in the morning. We found a few patches of snow free ground to set up on and called it good for the day.
Today I am thankful for long lunch breaks.