PCT Day 10... Snow! Navigating the Slippery Slopes

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I woke up to the sound of Oliver shaking his tarp and my first thought was that it was time to get up. Before climbing out of my sleeping bag, I looked at my watch and it read 1 am. I was glad I did before getting up to pack up my gear. It had started snowing at some point during the evening and the accumulation was causing Oliver’s tarp to collapse on him.

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For the second time on PCT, I woke up to snow. While I packed up my equipment, all of the other hikers were holding counsel on what their plans were for the day. They were trying to decide if they were going to climb back up to the trail and risk the weather or not. I decided to risk it and so did Oliver, Metric did not. We were both bummed have to leave him in town, hopefully I will run into him down the trail.

We took the Deer Springs trail to get back up to the PCT. I got to hike on snow for the first time in my life as the trail climbed to an elevation of over 8,000 feet.

The Deer Springs Trail was about 6 miles long. Once the trail met up with the PCT, we hiked another 13 miles, almost all of them in snow. Hiking in snow takes more out of you than hiking on normal terrain. Oliver being from Seattle had a lot of experience hiking in those conditions, so I let him lead. As the day progressed, the snow became slushier and there was more ice that fell out of the trees to watch out for. I slipped at least four or five times even with spikes on my hiking shoes.

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For the last 4 miles of the day, we were at a low enough elevation that we were back in the desert. When we were eating dinner a man named Golden Rod hiked up to us. He was doing a Sobo section (South Bound) hike and gave trail magic to all north bounders he met. He gave each of us a bag of chips. Oliver and I called it an early night due to the wind making it too cold to be out of our tents.

It sure was a beautiful day and great conditions to be out hiking, even with the snow.

Miles Hiked: 19.7 miles

Idyllwild to Tent Site

Location: Latitude: 33.87101; Longitude: -116.71136 

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