I slept in this morning and it felt amazing. I got 9 hours of sleep. Wilson creek dropped 3 feet overnight because of the freeze. Now it is safe to cross. The Lazy Fucks finally rolled up and I started hiking with them. We ascended Benson pass, a pretty steep climb. Im sort of dragging ass and not feeling super talkative. The views on top of Benson are pretty, but nothing close to what we’ve been through and seen.
Coming down the pass was brutal, steep, rugged terrain. This area might be more difficult than the rest of the Sierra, or maybe its just because i want to get the hell out of the mountains. Less snow means more water. Benson lake was large and gorgeous. We stopped for a break after crossing Piute creek, which was basically a big flooded mess. It was a wet, jagged and mangled forest crossing. The winter did a lot of damage to the trial. My knees hurt and my legs itch like hell.
We started climbing up Seavey Pass. I wasn’t super stoked about the climb, but one we started ascending I realized what a beautiful trail it is. Most of it seemed to be dynamited out and then the stones were carefully placed to create a stairway most of the trek up. I passed up Earwig and Cowboy, assuming I would see them at the bottom of the other side. Ten Gallon, GoPro, Steele (and his dog Cora), and Scotty were ahead of me. This whole valley is granite, with very little sediment. It is still in Yosemite National Park and you can tell by the style of the peaks. They were forged by millions of years of glaciers moving and cutting them like stone masons. It’s spectacular. Up top, there was a beautiful little lake perched on the peak of the pass. It has no name.
Down the backside, it was incredibly steep, covered in snow, and sketchy AF. I zoomed down, skiing the snow banks with my feet. I caught up with GoPro and Steele. The trail is non-existent. Kerrick Creek cuts this steep and dangerous valley. The trail runs along one side of the creek for 3 miles, under feet of snow that has melted into steep spine shaped banks. One slip and you’re in the water. We had to find a way through massive snowbanks. These banks sit above the water tat is flowing 8-10 mph, maybe more. It’s hard to say. Another hiker from London named Picky was too nervous to go. I volunteered to cut a path above the river because I have crampons and I’m slightly less nervous about trying it out for some reason.
GoPro followed behind my path, behind him was Picky, and behind him was Steele (and Cora). I cut the path and mentally shit my pants. I tried not to seem fearful. I just focused on cutting steps. The creek water was right under me. We finally got across and cruised the trail along the river for 3 miles until we reached the crossing.
It’s too high and too dark to cross. So we made camp. No sign of anyone behind us yet. Considering all the sketchy crossings, I am a little concerned about their safety. But they are a capable bunch! A few hours into the campfire, Ten Gallon and Scotty showed up. They said the rest pulled over for the night just a few miles back and would be here in the morning.