As we looked up to the V shaped notch in the mountain we realized that is our portal to the next valley beyond. It’s a 14 mile hike from Crabtree Meadow (the base of Mount Whitney) to the top of Forester Pass; the highest point on the PCT at 13,200′.
We luckily met up with a few other hikers at the base of the mile long switchback climb to the top. We were happy to not make the climb alone as it was later in the day and the snow would be soft not only on this side of the pass but the other as well. We had been leap frogging with Burns, Rambler, Goldfish and Cheesy Mama Bear all day so it was fitting to climb the pass together.
The snow travel is a big difference from the dry hot desert, it makes me feel right at home in these big mountains! From here on there’s not going to be a dry foot in the house between snowfields to cross and streams to ford. The hike from Crabtree to Forester alone had four stream crossings, one of which I had to stop and take a photo it was so pretty!
This stretch from Kennedy Meadows to Kearsarge Pass took us 6 days to complete and we are planning another 6 day haul to our next food resupply point at Vermilion Valley Resort 95 miles from here. To give you an idea of what six days worth of food and trash look like I’ve included a few photos.
How many of you can get a weeks worth of food to fit in a Bear Canister? Or a weeks worth of trash to fit in a one gallon ziplock bag? I challenge you to try it, over the next week only use a one gallon ziplock bag for your trash and see how many you accumulate. It’s an incredible feeling to be entirely self sufficient on the trail and even though we’ve had to lower our mileage through the Sierras our calorie intake has increased because of the elevation and physical exertion we experience climbing this high passes.
Over the next week we will climb seven more high passes as we make our way to Yosemite Valley where Fire Whistler (Phil) and I (Oasis, I got a trail name!) hope to meet up with our brother Pete and his kids Bella and Gavin. So excited to be sharing this journey with so many friends and family, whether you’re reading this blog or lucky enough to meet us on trail.
Thank you for all the care packages, letters and words of encouragement! As many of you know my hope is to raise a dollar for every mile Phil and I hike and bike for three very special organizations I’ve volunteered with during my time in Alaska. If you could please consider visiting my ‘Charity Causes’ page and sponsor a few miles, a days hike ($15/20) or an entire weeks worth of walking ($100). These organizations are very near and dear to my heart. I’ve volunteered as a Big Sister for eight years to my Little Brittany (she’ll always be my Little!) and truly believe in the mentorship this organization provides. If it wasn’t for the many of you who’ve inspired me and mentored me over the years I might not have ever found Brittany. I’m truly grateful for all the strong and gracious people in my life.
The Special Olympics Alpine Ski team has helped me grow as a person in more ways than I could have imagined, my athletes strength and courage is what keeps me going everyday.
And Bike Anchorage for their unfailing effort to build a stronger and safer bike community in Anchorage!!
I know many of you have been touched and changed by experiences and people, they can come in all shapes and sizes and I’d love to make this hike about something more than just a long walk but a commitment to those organizations who have challenged me, changed me and shown me the full power of what it means to give your time for the benefit of others.