PCT: Day 240: Silver Pass

Day: 240
Direction: Southbound
Trail location: 1772
Cumulative miles hiked 2019/2021: 2420
Cumulative miles hiked 2021: 403
Miles hiked today: 12.5
Elevation: 9309
High/low temp/humidity: 80/54/40
Spinning on the turntable: 10,000 Maniacs: Unplugged

I was amused last night in the camping area. There was a young lady solo hiking South on the JMT and a 40’ish couple rolled into camp that were headed North on the JMT. The northbound couple had all kinds of stories about the upcoming horrible trail for southbound hikers. Perhaps true, but I generally don’t offer this kind of unsolicited input. It’s kind of an asshole move to give horror stories like that, unless they’re really needed. I listened with some amusement as they told the young hiker that they hoped they wouldn’t wake her when they got up at 4AM to begin preparing for their days hike. Uh-huh.

(Did I mention that there are Llama’s nearby in a meadow being grazed? They have bells around their necks. I’m not sure what the story is with the llamas, but I didn’t go check it out. I should have!)

When I arose at 5:30 all was quiet. No one was awake yet. Today is the first day that I’ve needed to use my headlamp to prepare breakfast. When I left camp at 6:30 the 4AM hikers were just beginning to stir outside their tent.

The 1st climb of the day was about 500 feet over 1 mile. (Think in terms of roughly 10 feet per story, so I’m climbing 50 stories.) Not too bad. I made it up to Virginia lake. Wow! I should have continued hiking yesterday and come to this lake. It’s simply georgeous.

The second climb of the day was about 1700 feet over four miles. A bit longer and tougher than the first climb, but manageable. With breaks. Under shade trees/objects.

I did manage to fall on the downhill and skin up my knee. Falling is just part of hiking for me. Usually I fall in the afternoon when I’m tired. I’ve learned, hopefully, to stop and take a break and eat something when I start stumbling too much.

I had an option this afternoon. I could continue on the PCT (downhill) towards VVR, or I could take the Goodale Pass that also went towards Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR), but required an additional 500 foot climb.

I opted for the downhill! I passed other hikers on their way up. They looked tired! It’s interesting to run into the JMT section hikers. It’s generally, not always, 60’ish hikers with backpacks that are seriously over stuffed. I’m struggling to make it up and down these hills with a half full backpack, so my hats off to them to power up and down these mountains with full backpacks!

 I had a nice night tonight at camp. It’s good when I’m able to stay at a water source with running water. I can wash up a bit, clean up my feet, and soak my feet and ankles weather/time permitting. Tomorrow I’m going to head into VVR and do a small 3 day resupply. VVR has a great reputation on the trail as a “go to” place for hikers, so I’m anxious to see what it’s like. It’s about 7 miles off trail, so it’s a stiff price to pay for a resupply. Their website says that they offer rides back to the trailhead, so it seems worth the effort to me. We’ll see. If I like it enough I’m going to take a zero.


  1. Heidi Halverson

    Yay! You rock! Sharing horror hiking stories sound a lot like sharing horror stories of childbirth. “It was so bad – you’ll never want to go there…” When obviously the person is going there. You wonder what’s wrong with people. This couple seems to cohabitate in some sort of bubble of denial.

  2. Pencil-neck Geek

    VVR – Coors Lite at a premium price! And worth every penny!


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