PCT 2015 Day 143: Elevation!
- Start: 2,511.5
- End: 2,534.2
- Miles: 22.7
- Camp: Dolly Vista
Woah, some big climbs today. Over 8,500ft of climbing, plus the descents in between of over 6,000ft. I’m so tired!
Unfortunately I ran into a hiker going by the name of Rebo, who distinguished himself by hollering every half mile or so to let his group (and everyone else in the mountains) know he was nearby. Unfortunately we were climbing up a big hill and if his friends had already passed the peak they would have no chance of hearing him. He didn’t seem to care that he was scaring away creatures and disturbing my experience of the wilderness. I found his attitude super obnoxious. They say “hike your own hike” but it’s not possible when someone noisy inflicts their hike on you.
I met his gang at the end of the descent and the base of the next climb. Night Ship, Cool Whip, Dorothy and Papa Smurf as well as a lady with a dog and some other guy who didn’t identify himself. I told them they’d hear Rebo soon enough, and scampered away up the hill in the hope of making the summit before I could hear them yell at each other again. I heard a couple more yells but I was fast enough to the top that they hadn’t left their spot before I started the descent down the other side. Lovely though they may be on an individual basis, I was glad to put some distance between myself and the group.
The descent took all afternoon. There were downed logs, vertical detours, and plenty of opportunities to slip on the muddy switchbacks. My adrenaline levels were up and I was soon fatigued. However the valley I found myself in had no spots to camp, being very rocky and uneven. It was also too early to camp, so I headed up the next hill knowing I’d find no opportunity to pitch the tent until I got to the top. And even then I’d be on an exposed ridge at 6,000ft and I was concerned about the cold.
By the time I got to Dolly Vista, I was ready to stop. I plonked my pack down under a tree and sank to the ground to appreciate the beautiful view over the distant mountains.
I physically could not have walked any further today. I’d put in 10 hours and achieved not quite 23 miles. Slow by comparison to other days, but I am still ahead of where I need to be to get to Stehekin on Saturday. I’m thinking of putting in a bit more effort and getting there on Friday. It’s due to rain Thursday night and I’ll only have to spend one night and one day in it if I’m fast enough.
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