JMT – Day 9 – From Dollar lake to tentsite below Pinchot pass, mile 806

Aug 3.

Woke around 6am but felt quite miserable. My cold had not gotten better over night. I tried to sleep more, but gave up 15 min later. I started to worry about how well I will make it to VVR within the remaining 7 days of food and even more days to make it to town (Red’s Meadow/Mammoth lakes). I checked the possible passes to get out from the Sierra earlier. The most reasonable earlier exit will be Bishop pass. It’s less than 9000 feet, so snow should be no issue. But it’s 35 miles to the crossing. So I will still have to get over Pinchot pass and Mather pass before a potential earlier exit. Well, it’s at least a perspective. If this cold/flu is slowing me down too much, at least I won’t run out of food. At this moment, I plan to approach Pinchot today (about 10 miles), climb Pinchot and approach Mather tomorrow. So in three days I will climb Mather pass and decide on the descent whether I can stick to my original plan to go to VVR or take an unplanned break via Bishop pass.

Started hiking around 7am, made it to the lowest point 4 miles later at a wooden suspension bridge at 9am. Downhill works even with a throat ache and running nose. 😂

The rest of the day I will climb as close to Pinchot pass – 7 miles and 3700 feet / 1200 m left.

Lunch break at 803 miles, 10200 feet. Just above the nasty forest that I had to pass through during my ascend… It’s infested with mosquitos.

I am really exhausted, can feel the cold makes me run on maybe 60%…

Will eat and try to have a small nap.

The nap turned out really good – close to an hour. Using my backpack as a backrest, I could fully stretch out in the shade of a tree.

Pushed forward – wanted to stick to my plan to get close to Pinchot pass pass today and maybe have a remote tentsite by myself.

Food fantasy of today: water melon 🍉😁

I was lucky. At around 3pm, I came to the last listed water source about a mile before the pass. Even there my app didn’t list any established tent sites, I had found a nice one within 15min.

The bushes will maybe offer some wind protection and will provide shade for last to do before dinner: afternoon chilling.

10 miles today. Not great, but considering how I feel – I am very satisfied. Tomorrow another 10 will take me just below Mather pass.

Around 6pm a surprise: Horacio, one of the guys I met in the hostel in Lone Pine the night before my start, came up the trail with his hiking buddy Rachel. We chatted a bit, they told me about their bear sighting today… Now I am jealous. But I had had my dinner already when they arrived. So I went to my tent earlier around 6.30pm.

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