3 weeks ago
JMT Day 13: Upper Palisade Lake to some small tarn under Pinchot Pass (14.6mi)
September 16, 2019, a day that will live in infamy for anyone who was on the trail at the time. This was a brutal day. I had to do one long (15 mile) day between VVR and Onion Valley to make my resupply in Independence and the elevation gain/loss between Mather Pass and Pinchot Pass is the smallest, so I picked this as my first two pass day and it happened to be the day of the terrible, awful, very bad, no good wind storm.
After coming over Pinchot Pass, the wind was so strong I had to stop and plant my poles to keep from falling over every time a gust picked up. Having hiked over 14 miles on the cold blustery day, I was over it. (In another story, the wind had snatched my last 3 squares of toilet paper...) I looked for the first viable campsite, somehow managed to put up my tent, tied the guyline above my head to a tree so at least my tent wouldn’t slap me in the face, ate two Clif bars and went to bed around 6, when it was still bright and PCTers were still walking by. This was the first and only time on the trail that I went somewhere else, listening to Desert Solitaire on audiobook on my phone, and didn’t want to be “present”. My tent blocked the wind, but quickly filled with fine black dust sieved through the no-see-um mesh under my tent fly. I just pulled my sleeping bag over my head to ignore it. For days after, my hands would turn black touching any of my gear. (Pictured: view south of Mather Pass and view south of Pinchot Pass... so many lenticular clouds showing how crazy windy it was.)
#jmt2019 #johnmuirtrail #type2fun #matherpass #pinchotpass #kingscanyonnationalpark