This series of photos was taken during our “snow day” as we ascended up and over Pinchot Pass (12,130ft) on the Pacific Crest Trail last year. As I woke up that morning at the very bottom of the ascent, I woke up to the feeling of my sagging tent laying on my face covered in snow. We had roughly 31 miles to make it to the Onion Valley Trailhead where we would have but a mere chance of a ride to warmer and drier lodging options. And we would have to climb up and over 3 high mountain passes to do it (Pinchot, Glen, and Kearsarge). The fact that my repaired trekking pole had completely failed under the weight of the snow meant I was pretty much screwed for trying to set it up again. Not to mention the fact that I would be packing away a frozen wet tent that would only become more packed with ice as the freezing temperatures throughout the day would see to that. The photos you see here were only taken after the worst of it was out of the way. You can’t really pull your phone out too much with wet hands and freezing temps making phone operation nearly useless, so I don’t have pictures during the white out and half foot of snow we were walking in as we climbed over and through Pinchot Pass but I assure you it gave me flashbacks to my winter thru hike of the AT when I was in New England. The name of the game on this day was “JUST KEEP MOVING”. I had on mesh trail runners, a thin pair of socks, a pair of 3/4 length merino wool leggings, running shorts, a kitchen garbage bag as a rain skirt, a tank top, thin merino baselayer with hood, @zpacks
cuben fiber rain jacket and rain mitts, with a thin pair of fleece gloves under that. So not all that much for walking in that snow and ice at the higher and more frigid altitudes, but it was enough as long as we “JUST KEEP MOVING”. We were in a race to make it that 31 miles to the trailhead with high hopes of getting down into Independence, CA. Because the thought of breaking out that frozen, broken tent, let’s just say I wasn’t feelin’ it. Much like I wasn’t feeling other parts of my body.