PCT Day 81

Camp 1006 to Senora Pass – 10 miles (16km) – 1016 miles total

With only 10 miles to do to get to Senora Pass we had a bit of a sleep in and split the difference leaving at 6.45am. It was luxury waking up to sunlight and semi warmth. I even had time to have a cup of tea with breakfast.

There was a steep climb first thing in the morning, which of course I followed the wrong foot prints and ended up off trail having to make my way back. However, once up the steep snow/screw slope we came out on a ridge line which was mostly snow free and followed that instead of the trail which was a snow traverse. The trail was then mostly snow free and my favourite sort of trail. Gently sloping upwards (instead of steep) and level, no big rocks to avoid or twist an ankle on. We smashed out the 8 miles up in no time and then started the steep snowy 2 mile decent.

Photos never do justice to how steep mountains are, but they angle of these hikers helps
Spot the hikers, there is 4.

On the descent the trail came to a snowy traverse which people had glissaded down into the valley. A guy came up behind me and I told him I would let him pass in a moment as I didn’t want to accidentally glissade as I said that I heard his feet give way in the snow behind me and watched him half glissade, half try to self arrest while heading towards a boulder. Thankfully he managed to use his ice axe enough to divert away from the boulder as he slide 100m down. He was fine, but was pumping with adrenaline.

As I was on the traverse I had nowhere level to take off my bag and get my ice axe out, so I stood there until a girl came up behind me and I asked her to unhook my ice axe for me and handed her my poles to put in my bag. I then finished the traverse and glissaded down to the guy as we stood stunned by what had just happened to him.

The rest of the way down to the road was uneventful and we easily got a hitch into Kennedy Meadows north ‘resort’ from a guy who runs a camp. We made it in time for lunch. Got a cabin, showered, did laundry and resupplied all before dinner.

Today I am thankful for ice axes.

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