Day 113 – whiteout 

PCT day 26The day started out like every other one in the sierras, with a cup of coffee. Then I was off to climb Mather pass and see where the rest of the day took me. The 4 mile approach to Mather was amazing with peaks all around and the Mather snowfield seemingly right in the middle of them. As I approached the last 400 yards I could see the switchbacks cut into the steep snow wall. It was another time where every step would be crucial. I kept my head down, used my poles for 4 points of contact and slowly edged across the steep wall. 20 minutes of painstakingly slow progress and I was at the top! It wasn’t even 8am. Time to move on to the last of the 5 major passes, Muir pass. The problem was it is 22 miles from Mather pass. I decided to give it a go anyway. As I lost elevation I began to see gorgeous meadows with deer and incredible peaks rising above. The problem was late in the day the bad weather began to set in and it even began to snow. I was already committed so I climbed the gently 4 mile snow covered Muir pass. At the top there was a hut I considered staying in but there were already 2 people there so I made the push down as fast as I could to get below the snow line to camp. Mother Nature had different plans and I was soon in a spring blizzard with whiteout conditions it was so bad at one point I couldn’t differentiate the ground from the air. I kept trudging on and shortly after dark I found a barely suitable stretch of ground to recover from the long day. Once again I am sleeping above 10k feet which is almost a mile higher than I was on the entire Appalachian trail. 

Miles 812-842