A Long Slide Down Forester Pass

I didn’t make it too far after summiting Mt. Whitney. We descended to the Crab Tree campground, packed our things, and hiked the one mile back to the Pacific Crest Trail. Exhausted from the climb earlier that day, Belch, Organic, and I made it three more miles to Wallace Creek to make camp. Unfortunately for us, Wallace Creek was swarming with mosquitoes so we immediately set up our tents and stayed in them for the majority of the night. I left my tent to put away my food and smelly items in the bear box, brushed my teeth while doing a dance, and peed before racing back into the mosquito free tent I call home.

Not wanting to hit Forester Pass, the highest point of the PCT, too late, we set our alarms for 3 a.m and. started hiking at 3:45.

We passed a few of our friends’ campsites along the way, happy that they weren’t too far ahead. Forester Pass wasn’t a difficult climb, but there was still a little snow. Luckily, it was easy to step in other’s footprints. A southbound JMT hikers passed me on the way up and said that I’d have a nice slide down the other side. I wasn’t sure what he meant until I summited the pass.

There were three sledding trails embedded in the snow going down the north side of Forester; the switchbacks were completely covered.

Blueberry, a new friend, went first. She stepped over to the start of the sled path and promptly sat down. With a couple of boot scoot boogie moves, she glissaded about halfway down before she hit rocks. At that point, Randy followed suit, then Baseball, and then me with Organic and Belch not far behind. We all stopped at the rock section and walked 15 feet in shoe prints before glissading 100 yards or so to hit the uncovered switchbacks.

From there on out, it was switchbacks on and off snow for a long time before entering the most beautiful valley nestled in the Sierra.

The flowing creeks around us were so pure looking that Blueberry didn’t even filter her water, but instead dunked her Sawyer bag in and drank it directly.

I hiked around the same group for most of the day, excitement buzzing through all of us knowing that we’d make it into Bishop that night. Exhausted, somehow Belch, Organic, and I made it part way up Glen Pass to our turn off to the Onion Valley trailhead, a 7.5-mile trip of non-PCT miles that climbs up and over Kearsarge Pass. It seemed to take forever, but all of us made it: Blueberry, Randy, Baseball, Organic, Belch, and me. It ended up being an almost 27-mile day for Belch, Organic, and me. It didn’t take too long from the Onion Valley trailhead to find a hitch to Independence. After being dropped off at a gas station, we hitched again to get over to Bishop, where we found the most glorious hostel.

Other updates

Nothing really to note here – I’m impressively still on my first fuel canister from Campo. I’ve lost about ten pounds and feel great. My lips are chapped like no other, but I’m hoping that will go away soon. Still around the same folks for the most part, but my buddy Raff is a few days ahead and Emma and Rocket are a few days behind.

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