Peak to peak

With food levels at a critical level and the race to reach the Post Office in Independence by 4pm on Friday, I knew I needed to cross Forrester Pass the same down I descended Mt Whitney. This was going to be a big ask going 25 miles from over 14,000 feet, down to 10,000 feet, then up and over the highest pass on the PCT at 13,200 feet.

20130614-192138.jpg
I found myself out of breath after breakfast at the base of Whitney and was unable to keep up the pace with UB. I had to pick up my belongings from the bear box which made my pack even heavier, then begin the 13 miles to Forrester Pass. I got my second wind for the first 6 miles, then stopped for water and lunch at a little stream along the way.

20130614-194137.jpg

20130614-194151.jpg
I ate a tortilla with two strip cheeses and a packet of tuna, and for the first time on the trail felt like I couldn’t finish it. The cheese was a few days old and I think after 2 months of tuna my stomach just had enough. I polished it off because the alternative was to carry it to Independence, so I had a bad taste in my mouth for the next few miles and started to feel extremely sluggish.

20130614-194943.jpg

20130614-195006.jpg
The last five miles heading to Forrester went FOREVER! The climb looks very gradual at first, but it’s so constant that my legs started to feel heavy and it started to get later and later in the afternoon. It was eerily silent in the valley and I started to feel the most isolated I have on the trail. I figured anyone who was going to climb the pass would have crossed it by now, and no one else would attempt it so late in the afternoon.


After I shot the video above I heard my name being called. At first I thought I was hearing things, like the way I always hear footsteps behind me when there’s not, or the way burnt out tree stumps always look like people. After three calls I finally looked up and saw UB camped behind a huge rock just off the trail. He had already walked half way up the pass but decided to come back down because it was getting late. Thankfully this meant I didn’t have to climb it alone and UB didn’t have to camp in the cold at the bottom of the pass.

20130614-210518.jpg

20130614-210710.jpg
The climb from the base wasn’t as steep as I had expected, and because the majority of climbing was done leading to the base, the distance to the top was shorter than anticipated. When we reached the ridge top covered in icy snow I knew we were nearly there. I also knew this was the spot on the trail that UB had dreaded the most.


Once we made it across the treacherous ridge alive there was a little more climbing to do and then 4 miles of downhill to the next camp site with a bear box. There was a lot more snow on the north side of the mountain which made getting to the bottom slow, and after doing over 20 miles, my legs and knees were ready to call it a day.

20130614-213448.jpg

20130614-213536.jpg

20130614-213631.jpg

20130614-213711.jpg

20130614-213750.jpg
We reached camp just as the sun was starting to set. I went into auto pilot mode, set up the tent, put on warmer clothes, cooked dinner, brushed teeth, locked food in bear box and went to sleep with my alarm set for 5am.

20130614-214354.jpg

20130614-214408.jpg

20130614-214417.jpg

15 thoughts on “Peak to peak

  1. Rozie, congrats on mt Whitney I hope to make it in August. Actually congrats on every minute of your adventure. We have been following you and praying for your well being. Just read your latest post I am camped on pismo beach June 14 th your post is 15 th. I am confused. But that is not hard to do. Good luck you re awesome

  2. Amazing – my son Jon is doing the PCT and I think a mile or two behind you – he was on Mount Whitney yesterday. Your photography is superb

    • Fantastic! Does he have a blog and a trail name? Would be great to bump into him. We’re heading back to the trail tomorrow (Sunday) from Independence.

      • No alas – he has no blog and don’t know about a trail name – if he has one he hasn’t told me – he is from England. He has sent me some wonderful photographs. Expect you will come across him at some point. You are doing brilliantly – so envious although I think my tiny tent days for any length of time are long gone. We are one up in our tin tent – our little VW,

        Take care Ros

  3. Stunning images from these latest blogs. Sure get the sense of elevation and wilderness. Terrific achievement to crest the highest point. Hope not many scary snow traverses ahead! Go Muk Muk.

  4. Hi Rozanne,

    I just finished reading your last three posts and watching UB’s videos. Wow! The scenery is awesome and the change with miles hiked is incredible. What a fabulous journey. You are amazing. Keep it coming. Glad UB is doing well.

    Donna

  5. Hi darling, I am just amazed how small and dangerous the trail path is at particular places. How you held your breath when UB walked over the snow part in the video. How nice to bath your feet in the stream and enjoy the serenity. Such unbelievably environment, just beautiful. You are doing so well, I am very proud. Love Mutti xxoo

    • Thanks Mutti! It was so good to see UB successfully cross the snowy ridge and overcome his biggest fear on the trail. Great to have those two mountains behind us but some big ones coming up in the next section. We’ll need lots of energy and strength for the next seven days. Love you guys xxx

  6. hey ub… great running into you and your buddy friday on the kearsarge pass trail. we shared a fun moment.. hope you caught some fish at gilbert and flower lakes… i left a few for you!

    • Hey Barry great to hear from you and so glad you logged onto the blogs!! UB caught a few smaller fish but threw them back. What a spectacular place! Hope you enjoyed your time there and continue to follow the adventure šŸ™‚

      • hey roz… so glad you remembered. i tried not to reveal too much info. šŸ˜‰ watching your journey… have too much fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s