I was up before dawn this morning. I really don't enjoy having to get up this early, but if I don't I will most certainly have a slushy hike. It's best to catch as much of the iced over snow before everything warms up too much, particularly when going over passes.
We hiked up and over Kearsarge Pass and then reconnected onto the PCT. I noticed the snow is melting extremely fast but travel is still basically bush-whacking with GPS.
I feel a bit home sick while I hike through the hard stuff. I keep thinking about how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends and family back home. I miss them all. After being in town for 4 days and being able to see my parents and Jessica, coming back out into the wild takes some readjustment and it's getting harder for me to make the transition. I also have less desire to write my daily logs. It feels more like work sometimes. I didn't come out here to work! Mowgly's decision to quit the trail also was on mind as I hiked up the Pass this morning. I'm bummed that she felt she had to bail. But you have to hike your own hike.
Our packs are also too heavy. Everyone is suffering the climbs and sloshing in snow with 50lbs on their backs. I have 12 days of food for a 7 day trip in a normal year. But if the shit hits the fan and we get stuck out here fording a river or climbing a Pass, it's best to have extra food.
Towards the middle of afternoon was started ascending Glenn pass. The entryway to the switch backs required climbing a giant ice bowl followed by a ice and slush wall that went straight up. No switchbacks to be found because of the snow. It's beautiful and scary up here. While ascending, one of the snow footholds gave out on me. My ice axe was firmly locked into the hill so I didn't take a plunge. Happy Hour was already on top yelling curse words down on us as we crawled up to 11,948 ft at the peak. "You lazy motherfuckers! Hurry up!". The sweeping mountain ranges were endless...and so was the snow going all the way down the backside. The slope was way too steep to glissade. We had to side cut all the way down. Off in the distance you could see the completely frozen over Rae Lakes. Glenn Pass was more difficult for me than Forester, and potentially the hardest (and under rated) yet.
We finally got down to Rae Lakes and sloshed through more snow before having to cross the connecting point between the lakes - in freezing cold water. We stripped down to our undies and crossed over the connection between the upper and lower lake. Made camp and enjoyed a little sunlight. I did my best to dry everything off but resistance is futile. I also ate 2.5 dinners to kill some pack weight.