Today was a long day. Lucky Hat, Oliver and I hiked more miles than the last two days put together. I woke up to the shine of a headlight beaming into my tent. I thought that I had overslept and Oliver was shining his light to get me up. After looking at my watch, I realized that it must be other people hiking out of camp, since it was only 3:30 am. I waited and got up 30 minutes later, and we set out at what is becoming our normal time of 4:30.
It took us 2 hours and a couple of wrong turns of hiking on ground completely covered by snow to reach the top of Muir Pass. There was not any tricky bits, just a long tough hike. On top of the pass was a shelter that was built in the 30s. It was a super cool, completely made of stone and mortar. We took the first break of the day as it was warm inside. There were a few others resting there as well, including one guy who actually slept inside. He said it was not bad, totally out of the wind.
The hike down was easy. We hiked by Evolution Lake and ended up on the wrong side of it and had to cross it at the far end. It was an easy water crossing, not fast moving, just deep enough to be past my knees. As we got near the bottom of the valley, we hiked along the edge of Evolution Creek, which with the melt, was more like Evolution River - it was very large and in most places fast moving. Thankfully, there was an alternative route that took us through a meadow to a place where the creek was quite wide and slower moving. It was deep enough to reach just below my waist.
We took our lunch break where the alternate route met up with the PCT again on the bank of Evolution. We had 6 miles of downhill then 5 miles of uphill left to do today. Down in the valley, we continued to follow the creek, crossing it a few more times, sometimes on bridges. It was warm down in the valley and as soon as we started uphill I started sweating.
We hiked into camp at 4:30ish which was about 12 hours from setting out. Oliver and I set up our tents facing a fantastic view of mountains on the other side of the valley. We started preparing dinner as soon as we could. Over dinner, most conversations are about food, and things we wish we had to eat. Lucky Hat, who was going stoveless had eaten his dinner just before we reached the campsite during a break. He set his tarp downhill from us, in a more area protected from the wind, and went to bed. Oliver and I followed suit as soon as we finished eating, worn out from the first big day since Whitney.