5/24 – Day 47 – Forester Pass

Today I hiked 5 miles to Forester Pass, then 7 miles down, then 6 miles to Rae Lake.  All in all an 18 mile day, or maybe a bit more.

I slept in a bit, made pancakes, with blueberries on top.  I ate a large amount, and they were good. I got on the trail late, about 8:30 all up hill to the highest point on the PCT, Forester Pass at 13,200 feet. It was tough with the altitude and snow fields. The last mile was very steep with some snow to negotiate. I thought I had it made, I was near the top when I rounded a bend and there was an ice-hard snow shoot that was to steep to cross. I noticed a very scary, death defying route down a bit then across the shoot, part rock, part hard snow, and then up the other side on cliff’s edge. First I had to carefully drop my pack down onto a ledge and climb down to it.

I put my pack on in a very precarious steep shoot, got down a little more and crossed the ice and rock shoot on all fours. Then I had to rock climb using hands to hold on, back up the other side. It was very scary, even stupid. The top was just a few yards away and I was glad to be alive. The back side off the pass was all snow and rock. It was very difficult going but not overly scary.

I made it down past the snow and had lunch near Bubb’s creek. I made myself an egg, sausage, and cheese wrap. It was excellent. I continued down, 7 miles from the pass, to under 9500 feet.

There the sign said 6 miles to Rae’s Lake. There was another large pass, Glen Pass, at 11,978 feet in between. This was another insane climb, much snow and very steep. The back side of the pass was steep and all snow. A few people had made a trail, but it was still scary and very tough going. At the bottom of the steep snow section I met 4 people; 3 were from Paris. I made the beautiful Rae Lake at 8 pm. I quickly set up camp, and made chicken, rice, and green beans which I am eating in my tent as I write this. I think tonight will be the coldest of the trip so far. I have started in the last few days to eat in the middle of the night. I need to eat around the clock.