How Bad Can The Sierra Be?

F*** The Fear Mongers

June 19th, 2023 – Kennedy Meadows

As I walked up to the Kennedy Meadows General Store, it looked nothing like in the movie “Wild”. It was a road walk to get to the General Store which was a small building on a large dirt lot with small fluffy dogs running around. This was it. A major milestone after completing 700 miles of the desert, it was finally over. I could hear shouting and clapping in the distance from the other hikers who were already here. The shouting and clapping is a tradition for PCT hikers as it signifies the end of the desert, but is it the start of the Sierra? The place looked empty to be honest. It seems that entering the Sierra section has been the unpopular choice for most hikers. People are flipping north to Chester to continue NoBo or they are heading to the northern terminus to then go SoBo.


I am choosing to enter the Sierra section to see it with my own eyes. First major task, Mt. Whitney, then, the highest official point on the PCT, Forester Pass. I am taking the Sierra section in small bite sized chunks just like the concept on how to eat and elephant. One bite at a time.

Back of the Line

Today, as I write this from Lone Pine, CA, the hikers have thinned out. Could we be at the back of the hiking season or are people still flipping to avoid all the snow? All I know is that I need to see it for myself. In my mind, the Sierra section is an unsolvable problem. If I am going to get the most out of the PCT this year, I will need to enter the Sierra to see the obstacles and solve them for myself. This section is where I will be tested the most, gain new skills, and come to terms with my own abilities. Lets f***ing goooooo!!!!

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Comments 17

  • Johnny G : Jun 29th

    FYI, your title has a typo. It is the Sierra, not Sierras.
    Great article otherwise.

    • Carol Conlon : Jun 29th

      You are absolutely correct. There is Never an additional S at the end of Sierra as Sierra already indicates plural.

      • Jule : Jun 30th

        You are absolutely wrong. Sierra does not have an S at the end not because it is an already plural proper noun. There is no S because in fact it should not be pluralised. There is only 1 singular mountain range named Sierra. Not multiple.

    • Robert Hubertus : Jul 1st

      The name is Sierra Nevada Mountains. Here are 4 examples.

      1. I love hiking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

      2. The Sierra mountains are beautiful year round.

      3. My friends and I agree the Sierra mountains are the prettiest in the US.

      4. Someday I want to hike the PCT in the Sierra’.

      Notice the last example #4.


    • Robin MacDonald : Jul 2nd

      Sierra is already plural. Never use Sierras or Cali either for that matter, please.

    • Nathan Walton : Jul 3rd

      Us locals call em the sierra’s bud

      • Nathan Walton : Jul 3rd

        Us on the Nevada side. Not the Californian idiots btw

  • Vince Caporale : Jun 29th

    Are the “f” bombs necessary?

    • Atlas: The Tree Stomper : Jul 8th

      They are super necessary. The fact that people may refer to something easy as in hiking a mountain in tennis shoes with only trekking poles while others are using crampons and ice axes gives us mixed feelings of what’s to come. I am over that $#!+ and decided to go look for myself instead of giving into the fear. So, live your life and I’ll live mine. Now get out there and go get it!

  • Toshogu : Jun 29th

    I lived in the Sierras and hiked all around. Watch out for granite fields and burn areas they will make u suck down water at an amazing rate. The elevation may screw you up also cause the air is also thinner too.

    Avoid the old growth forests, they are a food desert.

    Sierras are no joke and should be taken seriously as any other high elevation mountain range.

    There is a reason why humans sparsley in the mountains. You will come to understand why.

    • Tom : Jun 30th

      If you lived in the Sierras you’d probably know that they’re not called the Sierras. The Sierra Nevada range is one mountain range to use the plural shows your ignorance of that fact.

  • Jenna Lute : Jun 30th

    Just an FYI, since it’s in your title, you should know that when u refer to the Sierra Mountain Range, it is in the singular form as it is only one mountain range. Calling them the Sierras is incorrect. I live in Placerville, Ca which is located in El Dorado County. Most people in the area understand this simple fact, but there are still some who don’t understand, so you are not alalone. Good luck!

    • Atlas: The Tree Stomper : Jul 8th

      Thank you for letting me know. BTW, it is spelled, all alone and not alalone since we are checking grammar lol j/k 😆

  • Bart : Jun 30th

    It’s about TACTICS used to complete the trail.
    It’s not that people can’t hike in winter conditions, people do it all the time.
    It’s mostly that if winter conditions cut your pace down to 10 miles a day, it will take 40 days to get up to Quincy.
    By then, you’re so far behind the 8 ball, that you’d have to hike 30’s everyday to make it to Canada before IT’S also snowed in.
    If people aren’t trying to do a “thru hike”, then whatever. (except for how dangerous the water crossings are in 200% years)

  • Jeff Greene : Jun 30th

    F yeah! You only live/die once! Just drove through Lone Pine today to stay at Mammoth in a cozy condo for a few days. In another week, I’ll be camping near Lake Edison and Florence Lake and Vermillion Resort with my buddies for the 26th time, and we will eat and drink and sleep very well in our “primitive” camp, but I love living vicariously through you and the other PCT warriors!

    • Atlas: The Tree Stomper : Jul 8th

      Made it out alive lol some of the sketchiest $#!+ I’ve ever done but very happy that I pushed through it. Thank you for your comment. Get out there and live!!!!

  • Ezekiel OBrien : Jul 2nd

    Brother was one of the “Three Young Bucks” you got this one step after another they didn’t see dry ground for two months . And of course only had topo maps.


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