Started: 08:30 @ MM 846.0 Evolution Creek Camp (Elevation 9,942ft)
Finished: 18:40 @ MM 862.6 High camp below Selden Pass (Elevation 10,111ft)
Elevation Gain/Loss: +2,553/-2,385ft
Food: NO Oatmeal! Cliff Bar, Snickers, Couscous w/Tuna, Jerky, Trail Mix, Chicken Curry& Rice.
Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 7, Days since laundry 7
I awoke to find a thick layer of ice on the inside of my tent. Everytime I moved there was a little flurry of snow as the ice flaked away from my Cuben walls. Need I mention it was fucking freezing!! I refused to move until it was warmer. Nobody stirred, even Spreadsheet was still snuggled deep beneath his tarp. Eventually the sun edged above the Evolution Peaks and offered just a glimmer of warmth. Everyone shuffled around camp grumbling about the temperature.
First challenge of the day (apart from opening the silly bear thing) was crossing the creek next to camp. There was a skinny looking log but it was icy! It took me an eternity to teeter across the thing and my legs were all wobbly when I finally reached the other side. I concluded that it was far too early in the morning for this shit! We hiked on. I’d only just recovered from the first one, when another one honed into view … this was a good five foot above a raging torrent, at least it was a bit wider. Nevertheless, another 10 mins had to be invested in cohercing my trembling legs across the precarious log!Ironically, these little streams were the least of my concerns, up ahead was Evolution Creek … one of the most notorious creek crossings on the trail … Oh deep, profound joy! Thankfully, because the thing can get so out of hand, the nice wilderness people had provided us with an alternative … wading through waist high, not quite so mental or likely to kill you, but still a freezing cold creek water! We opted for the not quite so mental option. Actually it wasn’t too bad, just deep and cold and we all agreed that it wasn’t anywhere near as badas the trail rumour mill reported. Collectively we had wasted a lot of energy worrying about something that never existed … sounds familiar !!We dried off over lunch and I massaged my wet and wrinkled little trotter. The ball of my right foot had been aching ever since the ridiculous snow fields of Muir Pass. I hoped it was a nothing thing that would just go away on its own. I was keen to get on so I punched out the next 7 miles ahead of the others. It was a spectacular hike, all the time running alongside the mighty San Joaquin River. Thankfully, some bright spark had eventually decided that a bridge might be a good idea. At last! … I was most grateful!The very highest partS of the Sierras are now behind me and already the terrain and topography are beginning to change. It’s wonderful to spend more time back in the tree line and away from snow generally … I, like just about everyone else on the trail, was officially totally over the snow! We stopped at the Muir Ranch junction to take on more food before the final uphill battle of the day … a 4 mile, 2,000ft slog up sun baked rubble switchbacks. I plugged in and marched up. It was hot, hard going and not what I would recommend at the end of an already long day!As is so often the case, the trail rewards your efforts. Camp offered the most amazing views … Spreadsheet and I haggled over the best spot. Dinner was a real scrape around the Bear Can. Supplies are running very low. We need to reach VVR tomorrow and it is still a pass and a full days hike away. I had now been totally disconnected from civilization for a whole week. It was a somewhat surreal experience, so too was catching a whiff of myself. I couldn’t believe how bad I smelt. The Funk was well and truly upon me and I really wasn’t keen on it. The PCT had yet to cure my obsession with personal hygiene!I sat there in my own funk, watching the sun set with a cup of hot powdered milk and a Snickers bar … This is the life I thought to myself!