Waterfalls,  snow traverses,  Mars like rocks

Day 75,    29 miles

Carson Iceberg Wilderness

Today for the first time, my pack hurts.   The shoulder straps are digging into my collar bones, but worse is my lower back.  Either the hip belt has stretched and lost padding or I have lost personal padding.  A bit of both probably.  I took my insulated seat pad and wrapped it around my hips and strapped the hip belt over.  Voila!  Works great!

Another beautiful day, creek crossings, waterfalls and water everywhere.

In the afternoon we did a long unnecessary slushy steep traverse.  There were no footsteps to follow so I knew this was wrong.  When I finally reached the top of Sonora Pass I could see I was right.  We should have stayed low then gone straight up to get over the pass.  I have to admit, I was mad.

Then it was more snowy traverses except lots of footprints.  I don’t have to use my gps so often now.  Many more hikers are making it this far north, so there are dirty footprints in the snow for us to follow.

The trail scenery had changed dramatically.  It was like hiking on Mars.  The trail weaved and reversed around huge, red, rock formations.   Once again it was getting late. It was 7pm and I was still 3.5 miles to our intended camp spot.  I was still a bit perturbed about the extra hour or so spent on the unnecessary snowy traverse over  the last pass.  I looked way down into the valley.  I could see a trail.  I checked my gps.  Yes, that is the pct way down the steep, shale rock slope.   I went for it.  Using my poles and bending my knees as I telemark skied down, down.  Before I knew it I was at the bottom!!  I saved about an hour.  Now I was happy.  That was fun.

I got to our intended tent site.  I had carried a magic beer from yesterday and I put it in a patch of snow to chill while I set up my tent and got my dinner going on my stove.  Sweet arrived in the dark and couldn’t figure out how I got here so fast.

As we continue south, I am still crossing paths with friends I met in the desert.  Ruben and Sue from Korea and Low Key, Hangman, Wing it,  Rockie (Miguel),  Papa Buff, Porn Star, Hush Puppies, and others.

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