Our couple of weeks R &R is now over. This was the chance for the snow to melt in the high sierra to clear the trail to make it much more accessible. Tomorrow I am heading back into the mountains.
After doing a great deal of research on Facebook and other Internet channels it appears that many of the PCT hikers that have already taken to the high sierra have had a really tough time.
Double annual snowpack depths, in some places record amounts of snow have meant that even now (almost into July) there is still lots of snow on the high passes and in many of the high valleys. It sounds like the mountain rescue teams have had their hands full dealing with slips, trips, falls and avalanches in the mountains this spring. It’s no surprise when you think that most of the people doing the PCT are hikers and not mountaineers. Lots of the photographs we have been seeing are definitely in the mountaineering category.
The weather forecast for the next 7 to 10 days is for a heat wave so the snow will continue to melt quickly and also the snowpack. This is great for clearing the trail and I’m certainly not worried about getting lost or plodding up and down some big snow slopes.
However what does sound pretty scary is the situation with the river crossings. There are now many accounts on Facebook and other Internet channels from people who have been trying to cross some of the mountain streams and rivers who have had very little experience at dealing with white or Swiftwater crossings. Again this is because most of the people on the trail or hikers and not true outdoorspeople or mountaineers. It appears that a couple of the rivers are totally impossible at the moment – Bear Creek and Evolution Creek. All I can really do is go and take a look at how bad it is.
From Kennedy Meadows I have two weeks to walk north through the Sierra and hopefully climb up Mount Whitney and continue crossing the mountain passes to eventually reach Mammoth Lakes. I’m not sure how much of this is really possible but there are a few alternative tracks to use to avoid using some of the bigger river crossings which I may have to take.
Wish me luck!
In the meantime Mandy will continue to blog from the town of Truckee and avoid getting freezing cold and wet crossing the rivers. We have kindly been offered space in a mountain cabin where she can hang out for a couple of weeks whilst I am crossing the high sierra. As we are splitting up for a couple of weeks Mandy has purchased a new phone, as I will be carry our main phone which is not an I phone!!!! Yes sit down everyone Mandy has bought a Galaxy she is now an android.