Daily miles : 19
Total miles : 769
The storm continued over night with strong winds, small hail, rain, and ultimately snow. Our tarps had a good layer of wet snow stuck to them when we woke up, but the wind had thankfully backed off. Our gear stayed largely dry. We both had a bit of splash back on our underquilts, but nothing too bad.
The colors in the sky and forest were quite neat as pockets of sun shown through the clouds. The trees were full of snow and the ground was covered with a couple inches – in all, it gave a nice winter wonderland effect.
The downside to the white beauty was having some cold feet and fairy cool temps for the whole day. We wear trail running shoes because the give plenty of breathability – this is both excellent for keeping air flowing to our feet when it is hot out, but also helpful when we do get rained on or step in a river etc, because the shoes where will dry out much faster than a waterproof shoe or boot. The downside is in conditions like today… Wet and cold. Our friend Mountain Man hiker in Chaco Sandals and today he wore neoprene socks on the sandals to keep his feet warm.
We only had one pass to climb up today, Guyout Pass (our third pass in the Sierra). As we neared the top, hail started to come in full force and we decided to set up one of our tarps and have our lunch there. We ended up staying as the weather didn’t improve. After two hours, we packed up and continued walking. It was still snowing, but it let up after we had walked nearly 30 minutes later.
We saw our first marmots of the trip. They were playing and eating in a meadow just south of Crabtree Meadows. CM is the turnoff where hikers who plan to climb Mt Whitney often launch from.
Our friend Proton was planning to hike Mt Whitney with Dream catcher, but their plans got foiled with the snow that came. It was much colder and the snow was falling at a faster rate when they got to Guitar Lake (Close to the base of the main part of the Mt Whitney climb). There would not have been much of view and it would most likely have been white out conditions at the summit. They ended up coming back to the PCT and we are camped with them tonight.