Day 253: Kearsarge Pass (again)


Direction: Southbound 

Trail location: 1869.6

Cumulative miles hiked 2019/2021: 2539

Cumulative miles hiked 2021: 522
Miles hiked today: 10.9
Elevation: 10640

High/low temp/humidity: 70/51/25

Spinning on the turntable: The Struts: Everybody wants

Well I ended up taking five days off the trail. My right ankle was in a state of mild annoyance when I left the trail a few days ago and I wanted to give it time to rest up a bit. Hitting the trial this morning equated to a big hill climb to head back up Kearsarge Pass

Leaving Onion Valley Campground

I was anxious to hike high enough on the hill to no longer be able to see the parking lot. It took about an hour. I passed a day hiker headed up to the lakes for the day. He was grossly overloaded with his backpack weight. I kept on moving up the hill with my own very heavy backpack. I’m loaded up for eight days, so my weight is pretty heavy. I think that I’ll be able to bang out the final section in seven days, but I’m adding one buffer day of food.

Almost to the top

I was chatting with other hikers who were making the climb this morning. They came off the trail last night to resupply and are now headed back to the trail to head towards Yosemite.

Lunch time

I stopped for lunch next to a lake. It was me and a few birds, but the birds weren’t too sociable. It’s nice to be back on the trail after a few days off. It hard to explain, when I’m hiking for more than a week or so I’m SO ready to get off trail. Once I’ off trail I’m SO ready to get back on trail. I ate my heaviest foods for lunch. The first day back on trail generally has the best food of the hike.

Looking like the water situation is going to dry up a bit as I continue headed South. I think I’m good for the next few days though, so my water carries are still relatively light.

I was glad to make it back to the official PCT after about a total of fifteen miles hiking to and from Onion Valley via Kearsarge pass. The green doors indicate the entrance and exit to Kearsarge pass. North bound hikers can take the first Northbound exit and pass next to the lake, South bound hikers can take the first Southbound exit. Each group “can” take the opposite path on their way back out of Kearsarge Pass, or I suppose they could the same path. I took the Northern route when I exited the trail and the Southern route when I returned to the trail.

I bumped into several JMT’ers that are headed South towards Whitney. It was funny (to me). One hiker was in her mid 20’s and we chatted about her hiking the PCT next year. The other hiker was in his mid-30’s. He was clearly infatuated with the younger hiker. She was either oblivious, or ignoring, his infatuation. I wished them well on their journey, told them I’d see ’em when they passed me, and moved on.

She passed me about 90 minutes later, hustling down the trail. He passed me about 2 hours later, head down, arms pumping and legs in motion. It was hard to not laugh. She clearly wasn’t interested in him.

Garmin Map

The Garmin map shows my current position (North) and my previous Kennedy Meadows end point (South) from June 2019. This is the gap that close over the next week or so.

As I was making camp tonight I heard a commotion from some other hikers passing through my camping area. Turns out there was a rather large bear meandering through the camping area. The bear scampered off and the other hikers soon departed. I was left with a knowledge that a bear had just wandered through my camp as I prepared my dinner. It added a nice little tinge of paranoia.

My hike today had a lot to do with my placement for the trek tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll head up Forester Pass. This is the highest elevation pass that I’ll go through on the trail. I wanted to make sure that I’d placed myself high enough on the pass today that tomorrow won’t be a horrid climb.

Garmin says!

My moving average today isn’t too bad when I factor in the fact that I was hiking up Kearsarge pass and beginning to work my way up Forester Pass.


  1. Sasquatch Tomodachi

    The End Is Near.

    Not sust a doomsday prediction.

    • mcgarveysan

      I hope so! I’m running on fumes!


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