Looking back on TD 34, I realize how ignorant I was . I honestly expected lots of snow on the passes. I somehow did not expect miles and miles of snow before each pass. Miles of slick, sun cupped (18 inches high) snow that slowed our pace to about a mile per hour. The trail was all but obliterated and the tracks in the snow blurred into the sun cups.
The valley before the pass was stunningly beautiful. We encountered several parties who were taking advantage of the 4th of July holiday to traverse the pass north to south. There were no other parties traversing south to north as we were.
When we encountered the pass itself it was all but impossible to find an upward track. I decided to follow the southbound hikers track, Steep, in fact, it was a glissade track in places.
For the first time since my femur broke I kicked steps into mountain snow. Lone Star and I were hooting with joy when we reached the top! 13, 180 ft, the highest pass we would traverse! We felt at that moment, sheer happiness.
Then we went over the top and started down. Again the preconceptions of my brain set me up for confusion. Why did I think the hard part was over when we topped the pass? Some how I expected the descent would be a green valley spreading before us with a brightly shining yellow brick road leading up with only a few gentle curves to our Mp destination??
Well, of course, I am writing this now and so clearly we are not hopelessly lost on the north side of Forester Pass. Relying heavily on GPS we finally arrived at an almost snow free campsite on the PCT. It was wet with snow melt but so was everything that wasn’t covered in snow.
Once again I lost faith, confiding to Lone Star that I did not think I could take 6 more days of this snow and rock and water. I was seriously considering going out with David on the Kearsarge pass spur tomorrow and skipping ahead to Sonora Pass.