June 8: I awoke early, as usual. The birds are the best alarm clock! The others at this campsite were either south bounders or much later starters than myself, so I started out on my own in the early morning chill.
I was a little nervous about Forester Pass. At13,200, t is the highest point on th PCT. which means there may be a significant amount of snow still around. Or I may have difficulty breathing or with elevation sickness.
Fortunately, I had lots of great scenery to keep my mind off my fears.
The climb wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. It was ongoing, but not technical. Very little snow on the south side. Just lots of switchbacks. Not very steep either. I didn't have any problems.
Once at the top of the pass, I wa met by several other hikers- both north and south bounders. We hung out there for a while, taking pictures, talking, and having a snack to prepare for the descent.
Five of us (me plus two couples) descended together, as a team. We helped one another find the trail in the snow patches on the north face, and traverse the more slippery parts. Overall, there still wasn't nearly as much snow as I had anticipated. And it was still pretty early in the day, so we were able to walk on top of firm snow, rather than post holing in the soft stuff. (When you fall through the top layer of snow and end up knee or thigh or waist deep in snow) We got down fairly quickly and ate lunch next to a stream in a gorgeous meadow surrounded by peaks in all sides.
After lunch, my other 4 friends decided they wanted to try toake it I've Kearsage Pass into town than afternoon. I didn't have the inclination or the time restrictions to have to do that.
Instead, I took my time- enjoying the scenery. I hung out by a fast flowing river for a while, soaking my feet.
I made friends with some deer.
And I camped in the most picture perfect spot- complete with a bear locker (and bear prints).
Peace, love, and trail magic!