I woke up at 4 am. It was still as cold and windy as it was when I went to bed the previous evening. The cold made it very difficult to get moving, but Oliver, Lucky Hat and I were ready to break camp at 4:35 am. On our way back up to Kearsarge Pass, we did a much better job of following the trail and made it to the top at over 11,000 feet without much problem. From the top of the pass, it was 3 miles back to the PCT. We decided to hike a different trail back instead of the Bull Frog Lake trail, as the Kearsarge Pass trail was more direct.
Back on the PCT, it was 3 miles of uphill hiking to Glen Pass. The final climb was pretty steep and I was glad we were doing it fairly early in the morning while the ice was still hard.
There were only a couple of stream crossings, none of them were difficult, however all of them were cold and we got our feet wet.
We took a 30 minute lunch break around 11 am and finished up the day with a climb up towards Pinchot Pass. We camped at the nearest tent site near the top of the pass, which is about five miles away. While we arrived early to camp at around 2 pm, we decided not to try to climb the pass, as it was so late in the day and the surface of the snow was soft and slippery.
We napped and relaxed until we had dinner around 5:30 and went to bed shortly after.
Today and tomorrow are both short days of hiking with a goal to set us up to climb one of the hardest passes, Mather Pass, at the crack of dawn.
So far, the Sierras have been like nothing I have ever done before. It takes a lot of planning including how far you are going to hike, how many streams will you have ford, how / what time you are going to climb the snow covered passes, and how today’s plan will affect the next day(s) of hiking. When planning and trying to take in all of the factors, it out it is nice to have other people to help with the process.