Start – VVR trailhead, Mile 879, 10:30 am
End – Mile 891, 7:00 pm
Miles – 12 (plus 1.5 non-PCT miles to get back from VVR)
The water debacle spurred a mass exodus and 26 of us took the ferry back from VVR at 9:00 am to get back in the trail. Included in that group were Jamba and Dayglow, who was still disappointed in the entire VVR experience (not just the lack of food and water) that she wanted to get as far away as possible.
Luckily for me, I got to sleep in a bit since the first ferry wasn’t until 9, but that also meant trying to figure out something for breakfast since the restaurant is closed. I ended up just eating some cliff bars which seemed better than the frosted honey buns that everyone else was taking from the store
After getting back in trail, the only goal for me today was to get over the last big pass for a while, Silver Pass. The Pass is about 6.5 miles from where the trail to the VVR ferry reconnects with the PCT, but as with all the others it ended up being a harder climb than I anticipated. It’s about a 3000 foot climb over six pretty consistently steep miles.
I actually knew I was in trouble when the switchbacks were made of steps. That’s about as hard uphill as you’re getting as a hiker without snow cover on the trail, and they seemed to go on for miles.
Silver Pass is interesting because it’s kind of a double pass. Most of the passes have the highest point of the climb occur at the actual pass itself so you crest it as you move from one side of the range to the other. With Silver, the Pass is noted as being about a quarter mile lower than the highest point in the climb.
So you get to the Pass and you’re facing East, and then you climb up a bit more and turn to face north where the trail actually descends. So you get two vistas, which is pretty cool. Not too much snow on this one so it wasn’t that hard of a descent, just a lot of steps down which kill my knees after a while.
I’ve also noticed that I have a terrible habit of kicking rocks while I hike, and kicking them hard. I trip over everything: rocks, roots, my own trekking poles. Sometimes I just loose my balance while standing in place. I don’t think I was meant for uneven terrain. My feet are apparently city feet.
The other diatribe I’m going to go on is about mosquitos. Honestly. They are the worst. At this time of year with so much water around the are everywhere up here. I have some spray, and I’m covered from head to toe while I hike, and I even have a very trendy head net, but still I hate them.
Every time I stop to fill up on water they swarm, and of course at night at camp they are everywhere. One guy I talked to said he counted more than 50 bites on himself. I don’t have it that bad but he hiked in shorts. I’ve started smashing them when the land on me and leaving the dead ones as a warning to the others but it doesn’t appear to have an effect. So I probably will just get stronger bug spray.
Anyway enough ranting. Tomorrow I’ll hit reds meadow and then I’ll probably take a detour the next day into the Devils Postpile National Monument. That’s about a mile and a half detour but I figure it’s worth it. Should make Yosemite in three days.