Trail location: 1894
Cumulative miles hiked 2019/2021: 2563
Cumulative miles hiked 2021: 546
Miles hiked today: 11.1
High/low temp/humidity: 63/45/20
Spinning on the turntable: Yann Tiersen: Kerber
OK, Forester Pass may have wiped me out. I’m darn near exhausted today. It’s difficult to obtain accurate information, from anyone, about if I should be leaving the trail or not. The Forest Service Rangers haven’t leave any signs posted at trail junctions, which leaves me to think I should keep hiking. Other hikers are saying that they heard we should all be getting off the trail (while we continue hiking on the trail) and Noelle said that the folks she’s spoken with say to keep hiking until someone says that I should get off the trail. It’s emotionally draining. I’m just going to keep moving south until I finish in KMS or a Ranger tells me to get off the trail.
As I’m looking at Guthook, I’m starting to pay more attention to the water situation. The last consistent updates to Guthook, from hikers, was about two months ago when the NBTH bubble traveled through here. Guthook, the phone app, allows users to update theoretical water/camping locations with almost real time data. I can update any location with a comment, and the comment is added to the database the next time I have WiFi or cell service. It’s handy, but at the moment, it’s a bit out of date. So, I’m setting my daily distance now based on available water sources, not so much on targeting fifteen miles per day.
I can’t really begin to express my freaking happiness over the trail smoothing out a tad and there being less embedded rocks to avoid. When the rocks are embedded, or (God Forbid!) it’s cobblestones, I pretty much end of staring at the ground the entire time I’m hiking. Looking up too much equates to me tripping on a rock and falling. Which I’ve done, many, many time. So, I’m thankful today for a smoother trail.
I hiked right past the Whitney portal. No signs from the Rangers, no “Exit now” lettering, so I kept going. I’ve seen so many signs posted (and you have too!) from Rangers about bears, the portal being closed, or more bears, so I’m inclined to believe that if the Rangers wanted to communicate with the hikers, they could. Silence means I keep hiking South.
I was a bit surprised to find myself hiking up another hill that seemed suspiciously like a mountain pass. Surely it couldn’t be, my Guthook app didn’t identify this as a mountain pass. Yet, up and up I climbed on a trail that seemed more and more familiar.
After about an hour of climbing, I reached the top of Guyot Pass. What a pleasant treat! The trail was steep, but it was also fairly short at about a mile. I can handle this type of pass!
I stopped for a mid-afternoon break around 2PM and slept/dozed for about 30 minutes. I decided to push onto the next water source about a mile up the trail, and then call it a day. The net water after this is 8.6 miles up the trail, and I really don’t want to hike bigger miles today.
I did detour off trail about .2 miles and visited the Ranger cabin. No luck, no Ranger. I did bump into him later though. Check out the shovel hanging in the tree on the upper left hand corner of the image. Guess they get a lot of snow here huh? When I spoke with the Ranger later his input was to keep hiking until someone else, like a different ranger, told me to stop hiking. As long as I wasn’t planning to exit the trail, resupply, and then reenter the trail, his interest seemed low. Fair enough, I’ll keep hiking South until another Ranger tells me to stop hiking and get off the trail.
I did bump into PCTA’s sponsored hiker this afternoon and we had a interesting conversation. We’re both pleased to be moving past the JMT hiking section. Everyone is great, but the JMT hikers bring their own brand of special, just like the PCT hikers bring their own flavor to the trail.
Hope to make bigger miles tomorrow, looks like I’ll need to do longer water carries from here on out.