Over Kearsarge Pass to Bishop
Beginning Elevation = 10,100
Peak Elevation = 11,760 (not on PCT)
Ending Elevation = 9,200 (not on PCT) Weather: Mostly sunny, high of 70°F
The morning came just as many before it had, with me waking up around 5:15ish. I haven’t used an alarm clock yet out here (I don’t think), which is odd for me. In the default world (that’s what Kool-Aid likes to call our lives away from the trail), I need my alarm, otherwise I can do some serious sleeping in. I did lay/partially snooze for a bit longer listening to the nearby river, then proceeded to pack everything up.
Dad and I seem to be ready to go the earliest in our group. If you haven’t noticed from my posts, I seem to pay attention to time fairly regularly, so I’m usually ready for our planned take off. Today, the now 8 of us started hiking in a line around 6:35ish. We had a little less than two miles of downhill left before a steep ascent and followed along the many cascades of the river that whole stretch.When on trail, bathroom breaks are inevitable. We use the term the big green bathroom or the BGBR for short. I’d love to say that we find lovely wooden thrones such as this all the time, but that’s just not truth…The valley slowly lost the snow and new life was sprouting!Once we reached the junction a Vidette Meadow, trail switched from downhill to steep uphill. And then, we saw some wildlife…5 deer, all quite small. Blacktails maybe?
The view looking back was very nice…We made it up the gruelling path to the bullfrog lake area…Dad and I like our breaks and rather than push on with the group to get over Kearsarge Pass before lunch, we stopped near the lake for a breakfast stop.Then, we began our way following footprints across a snowy forested expanse with a river nearby and passing even more frozen lakes. Then, it was up a really steep section of snow to a set of dry switchbacks!Which led to the top of the pass where our group was having lunch! We’d caught up!We saw this boulder that had fallen at some point and made a nice snow path. Luckily this didn’t take place when we were passing through!The way down was long, but filled with amazing views of lakes, with less and less ice the further we went down. There were also cascades of water cruising down the mountain slopes and sometimes down our trail.And then, just like that, Dave H, the team and I reached the trailhead and the end of dad’s hiking for his round 2 of the PCT!Hooray! Such a ridiculous and amazing accomplishment that my father took on and succeeded on. Nobody else joins to this section coming from the flatlands. To jump on and tackle Forrester Pass, and tons of snow, and river crossings was something. I was super thankful for my fellow hikers to allow us to be part of the squad and they in turn have said they were happy to have father be part of it all too. Good times had by all for sure.
To keep things short, we ended up getting a ride into Bishop, California, got a hotel, and had an amazing meal all together to celebrate our adventure!