Day 58 – 6/18/16
Tuolumne Meadows 942.50 to Matterhorn Creek 962.06
Total miles: 19.44
No bears last night. Just the shouting of stoners until late in the night. 5 am came quickly and I waited until I heard 5 Star deflate his sleeping pad before I started getting ready. Have to grab those few precious extra moments of warmth. We packed up and then all three of us headed to the campground bathrooms. Might as well use a real toilet before heading out into the backcountry again.
We left the campground and headed back down the road to rejoin the PCT. It’s hard to find any PCT markers put here. I thought once we left the John Muir Trail that we would see markers and signs again but it doesn’t seem so. There are a lot of junctions and signs to pointing different trails. Eventually we found a sign saying we were on the PCT.
The trail had a slight incline and wasn’t too bad. The landscape in the past couple days has definitely changed. The snow capped mountains have gone away.
Eventually we came to the first climb of the day. With all the weight in my pack the climb seemed very steep and hard. For some reason whenever I go uphill it seems all my energy gets sapped from my body. I move very slow and can barely keep going. The second it flattens put again I go back to my normal pace. I think it’s the weight of the pack. The pack becomes very uncomfortable if it is over 30 pounds.
At 11 we took a lunch break and I ate a ton hoping it would help me get up hill and to try and lighten the load. 5 Star and Mad Dog hiked off and I took my time going up. I can’t keep up with them the last several days so I stopped trying and just go my own pace. My foot is feeling better but I still don’t have the pace I used to have.
The second climb came up and I was dragging. It was only 1,500 feet or so but it took me forever. Every hour or so I would come across 5 Star and Mad Dog taking a break. I would get there and sit for a few minutes before they got up and left. I’m sure they had been there for close to 10 minutes before I arrived.
Eventually I reached the almost top for the day and came across them. They were sitting in shade but there wasnt room for me so I walked past them to the next shade and sat down. Completely drained. 5 Star walked by and said there was only 3.6 miles to the campsite. Awesome!
Or so I thought. I sat for a few minutes before getting up. I thought it was fairly flat for a mile before dropping. It was flat for a bit but then it climbed up again. Then leveled out some more as it went by a lake.
And then snow. I was surprised at how much snow there was at 9,500 feet. Not just patches but large snow fields. I got to a point where I wasn’t 100% sure which direction to go so I pulled out my phone. I took it off ultra power saving mode and almost all my apps were gone. Even the factory apps. Only a handful were left. What. The. Hell.
I picked the direction I thought the trail went and hoped for the best. It seemed like I was right since I was seeing foot prints in more snow. I finally started to drop down but the switchbacks were covered in snow patches. Very slippery snow patches. I was going down one when the footprint I stepped in broke away and I fell and slid down 15 feet. My right trekking pole was sticking out of the snow above me. I crawled back up and grabbed my trekking pole. Stupid snow.
My watch was telling me I reached the elevation of the campsites but I still kept dropping. I pulled out my phone and did a reset of the applications and that seemed to fix it. My home screen is still all messed up. No idea what happened. I saw I was only a couple tenths of a mile from where I wanted to to be. I dropped a bit more and came across a creek and saw Mad Dog on the other side filtering water. I crossed the creek and he pointed me to where they were set up. I walked up and dropped my pack.
Today was tiring but it shouldn’t have been. I don’t know why I’ve been so listless lately.