Yesterday we did 2 passes and today we had to cross/ford 3 large creeks. The low miles are a testament to the slow pace at which we travel when no trail exists.
Left Rae Lakes and headed for Baxter Creek, which we knew we would have to deal with. Every time you cross a mountain pass you have to go through it's valley. This almost guarantees that you will have to battle the torrential creeks and the trillions of gallons of water from rapid snow melt. The Sierra is soaking wet. Everything is wet or frozen.
Passed a couple beautiful lakes early on and couldn't get across where we needed to. Me and Cowboy wanted to try it but too many in the group were uncomfortable. We decided to cut new trail and try and cross the creek further down the valley. We eventually found a sturdy looking snow bridge and crossed it. A few miles later went below tree line and hit Baxter Creek. We're renaming it Bastard Creek because it didn't give us an easy time. We eventually got across it and my feet were so frozen I thought they would fall off. Damn Bastard.
For the first time it felt like we were actually on the JMT. In the valley it was dry and the trail was exposed. Man it felt good to finally walk on dirt again. We snaked down into the valley and crossed a wood and wire bridge. The exposed mountains in this valley have 400 ft waterfalls coming off the side of cliffs. Feeding them are massive glaciers on the peaks. You can hear a massive waterfall in the distance. Water is loud. I hear it every single moment of the day out here. After the bridge I started ascending up into the new valley that will eventually take us to Pinchot Pass tomorrow. The climb was nice and ran along side the intimidating Woods Creek Waterslide. This Creek is no joke, and it's moving at high speeds. It's insane how much power and thrust it creates. No human would last a second if they fell in. Finally the creek crossed the JMT (PCT) and there is no way to pass it. Too dangerous. We al decided to make camp and cut our day short. Hopefully tomorrow the freeze will slow the river enough that we can safely pass. So me and some of the lazy fucks make camp down the trail and prepare for a 6 hour lazy afternoon before bed. About an hour in Spacejam comes to tell us that Happy Hour, being the crazy bastard he is, climbed up a cliff and found a snow bridge 800 ft above where the trail and river intersect. He got across. Everyone in the group opted to just get across before a nasty cloud that had been stalking us all afternoon decided to rain and potentially weaken the snow bridge. So we completely repacked up camp and got back in the game.
I shimmied up the mountain sliding on loose rock, following Spacejam, and the lazy fucks behind me. We got to the bridge and hesitantly crossed, hoping it wouldn't cave into the raging river below it. It supported us. We did a few more miles towards Pinchot and called it a day. I'm too tired to be writing this right now.