After a ruff hike yesterday, I got up late and didn’t get out hiking until 10am. I could not eat. I headed cross-country on the east side of the South Fork Kings River hoping to find a way across to get to the PCT. After a couple miles, the River had branched off several times and I was able to find a way across to the PCT. I met my first couple of through hikers who had started at the Mexican Border.

First Night Camping Spot

Heading up the South Fork Kings River, trees getting thin

                Mt. Ruskin    12920 feet                       Vennacher Needle  –  12,995 feet

Below is the wrong pass I want over in my 2013 hike, The Big Oops.

False Pass


Mather Pass From a distance, the correct pass.

(the mountains through the gap,   Norman Clyde Peak 13920 ft   Disappointment Peak 13917 ft)

From Wikipedia, “Stephen Tyng Mather (July 4, 1867 – January 22, 1930) was an American industrialist and conservationist who as president and owner of Thorkildsen-Mather Borax Company became a millionaire. With his friend and journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather led a publicity campaign to promote the creation of a unified federal agency to oversee National Parks administration, which was established in 1916. In 1917, Mather was appointed as the first director of the National Park Service, the new agency created within the Department of the Interior. He served until 1929, during which time Mather created a professional civil service organization, increased the numbers of parks and national monuments, and established systematic criteria for adding new properties to the federal system.”

Mather Pass 12096 ft  (can you find the trail?)

The hike to the base of the pass was very difficult with many unavoidable large soft snow patches. The going was extremely slow as I post holed my was across the large snow patches from one rock island to the next. The trail up the south side of Mather Pass was mostly snow free and I soon reached the summit.

Mather Pass North Side

The hike down the north side of Mather Pass was a nightmare. The afternoon sun had softened the snow to a point that made travel over it slow and painful. My legs are all scraped up from post holing and I tweaked my knee a bit.

Camping Spot Second Night

Tired take a deep breath.


I made it out of the snow and found a nice camp far above Palisades Lakes next to a little stream. I hiked just 7 miles today but due to all the factors, over exertion, high altitude, and minimal calorie intake I was feeling pretty bad. I managed to eat a Ramen and I hit the sack early.

Camp at PCT Mile 819, 7 Miles hiked today, 18 total.