Monday, June 11, 2012

11 June - Day 51 - Titanic Landscapes & Forester Pass

From Crabtree Ranger campsite (Mile 767) [10,652 ft] to campsite just north of Forester Pass (Mile 782.5)
[11,300 ft]

Total PCT Miles Hiked Today: 15.5

Awesome crossing of Forester Pass (13200), highest point on the PCT and the boundary between Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.

From Crabtree we had a steady ascent. Unlikely & surprising beauties left & right. Bighorn plateau with a high lake nestled in a brief saddle before dropping off the other side.

Lake on Bighorn Plateau.

Connected to the John Muir Trail. Especially beautiful.

Took lunch at a roaring creek. Sunbathed and soaked my feet - all of us taking every opportunity to wash the salt and smell out of our hiking clothes.



Calf and Rubylocks

Pan on the last pitch of the Pass.

Seano on the last approach to the Pass.
The Gay Caballeros

Forester Pass at 13,200 ft, highest point on the PCT (the 14er day before isn't "on" the trail). Impressive stone work and trail construction/maintainance. Dramatic switchbacks up cliff face. I have no idea how thru hikers did it last year with mountains of snow. We had it easy.

The view south from Forester, with alpine lakes partially covered in ice.

Post holing. The other side we had our first hiking across steep snow fields soft enough that we would suddenly drop thigh-deep. Not ever fun with a heavy pack.

The pass opened up onto the most astonishing valley. Like a Bierstadt painting.

These are the types of views we see 50 times a day ... we just keep saying "Wow."

We are camped for the night in the most spectacular site of the whole trip. Peaks, roaring cataracts, alpine lakes, distant rockfalls rumbling across the high altitude valley -- we're nestled in among limber pines (all five of us) on the steep side of a glaciated valley.

Selfie in bed under the rain fly.

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