Daily Miles: 21
Total Miles: 731
Great day today. Had nice cool weather, did our first mountain pass, met some new people, easy walking.
Headed out just after 6am after a cool evening of sleep. We slept well and both felt rested. Much of our morning (and early afternoon) was spent climbing up to Olancha Pass, which was our first mountain pass in the Sierra Mtns and over 10,000 feet. There was some snow at the top, and Mtn Man made a snow angel in the one patch that was barely big enough to lay down in. We took a fun photo at the high of land where the trail goes over the pass.
Neither of us carried more than a couple litres at any one time during the whole day, this is a nice perk of being in the Sierra. Walking in the trees and giant rocks was a nice change as well. Today we saw snow covered mountain peaks and beautiful mountain meadows….such a wonderful part of the country.
We took a couple breaks and had dinner with some hikers that are new to us, Dream catcher, Sugar Rush, and Laverne – bum. All three girls. There is a lot more females on the trail this year than when Beardoh did the trail in 2012.
The diversity of hikers is interesting and was a topic of debate during a break today. Far more girls interested in long distance hikes than just a few years ago. Maybe an effect of the book and movie Wild. There is still more 20 something males than any other demographic, but there certainly are plenty of couples, people on their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s…though as the ages get older, there are fewer women in those age groups.
We also had dinner and chatted in the evening with Shaggy, who is a young doctor from Australia who heard of the PCT while visiting Yosemite 3 years ago and met some PCT hikers who cam through Yosemite Valley at that time.
We are hammocked in a group of very large Pines. The wind has died down and even though there are probably 25 hikers within 200 yards, it is silent at 9pm as every one is already in bed. Looking forward to a nice night of sleep… With the aim of doing 20ish miles again tomorrow.
Proton has decoded to try and fit in the Whitney climb and still stay on schedule to get into Independence on the same day that we do. He’ll do a 29 miles tomorrow and make up the balance with 25 mile days most likely.