Day 98 – From Burney Falls to tentsite, mile 1441

July 27.

Burney Falls

Got up 5.30am, left camp 6am. My tent was covered in ash this morning.

Took some photos of the beautiful Burney Falls, on trail 6.45am.

Britton Dam
Britton Dam

With the good start, I made my usual 10 miles by 10am. Getting water at Screwdriver creek, running into bigger group of hikers. Flower also there.

With 14 miles at 12pm, took a lunch break at Peavine creek.

Thinking about how many miles I wanna do today. It’s hot again and not as flat as the last days.

Song of the day: Herbert Grönemeyer – Wunderbare Leere

The landscape varied a bit, especially the trees. But the haze caused by the nearby forest fires remained the whole day.

I saw the group with Flower several times – they were aiming at a 28 miles campground. Too much for me… But it’s either 21 miles or 28 miles with water or dry camping in between.

It’s funny – I ended up as being one of the first to pitch my tent around mile 24 – all others moved by first and then ended up camping just hundred feet further.

Walking in the twilight all day caused by the smoke isn’t easy.

The night turned out to be good since it was cool, maybe due to the exposed location on a saddle and the altitude of 5200 feet.

Day 84 – From Lacey Creek to Sierra City, 1195

July 13.

Got an early start at 6.20am – good. Rested enough for another long day. We will be aiming for 10 before 10am, 15 by 1pm and as early as possible 23 miles to hit Sierra City before the store and restaurants close.

We made 9.8 at 10am – not bad. The morning took us over some hills with amazing views again – this wide open landscape doesn’t stop to amaze.

Fitting soundtrack for today:

Holocene – Bon Iver

We completed 15 miles by 12.45pm – check. 👍🏻😁

Came into town/general store 5.35pm, the general store was still open but their burgers were not available anymore – they had closed the kitchen at 5.30pm – what a disappointment.

Sierra City – General store and post office

Bought snacks and realized that the little town was completely booked out. No room, no shower, no laundry?

We camped next to the church with twenty other hikers – a very crowded spot that night. There was a public bathroom with a cold shower available – I skipped. 😂

Ok – with all that frustration we spend quite some money on a decent dinner with wine.

Probably the best dinner since months…

Day 71 – From tentsite to tentsite, mile 989

June 30.

I woke up at 5.45am as usual. It was a bit windy at night – sleeping with one vestibule door open as usual, I had a nice fresh breeze in my tent.

Good day. Quick climb of the remaining 1000 feet.

Song of the day: Queen – Don’t stop me now

Lunch stop after crossing a river at mile 982.

Chatting with DownDog, Yogi and Financial Analyst we met during the break.

Just watching nature and wildlife happening around.

Hiking on. Lots of mosquitoes. Pitched tents around 6.30pm on some rocks hoping for less mosquitoes…

Nice dinner with Mountain House, last Crystal Light. Celebrating tomorrow’s 1000 miles marker.

Day 59 – From Tentsite at mile 826 to Tentsite short before Muir Pass, mile 836

June 18.

Since we only wanted to approach Muir pass, we could afford a slow morning. Woke up short before 7am, was greeted by a deer standing right next to my tent.

Hit the trail 8.30am. Saw many deers on the trail. Ascend towards Muir pass starts slowly.

No traveler, whether a tree lover or not, will ever forget his first walk in a sugar-pine forest. The majestic crowns approaching one another make a glorious canopy, through the feathery arches of which the sunbeams pour, silvering the needles and gilding the stately columns and the ground into a scene of enchantment.
– John Muir

Break at a river rock bed. Beautiful.

Lunch break around 12pm at Big Pete meadow, mile 833, 9200 feet.

Hiking to the last listed tentsite at 11000 feet at mile 836 – just 2 miles and 900 feet altitude away from the pass. This will put us in a good position to go over the pass early avoiding too much snow melting and with that postholing.

Muir Monster

Coming closer to Muir pass…

Enjoying the view, chilling in the sun.

Listening to music…

Song of day: Passenger – In the end

Dinner at 6pm. Enjoying a Mountain House dinner instead of the cheaper options from Knorr or mashed potatoes… So good!

In tent before 7pm. Will get up tomorrow at 5am to take on the Muir pass early.

Day 52 – From Tentsite mile 772 via Kearsage Pass to Tentsite at Bullfrog lake, mile 788+

June 11.

With Forrester pass (13100 feet/4000 meter, highest point of PCT) still 7 miles out, we got a relative early start at 6.15am. The approach to Forrester pass was very beautiful. I remembered many spots and felt very happy and grateful to be here again.

The landscape in this part of the Sierra… Just awesome.

We took a break at the same spot where I had pitched my tent during my 2016 JMT hike, just before the final climb. In 2016 I was here in Juli.

Now, a month earlier, the pass had much more snow. Approaching the last climb was difficult…crossing a frozen lake, finding trail the trail under the snow.

After passing an icy snow chute and a few more demanding sections, we made to the top of the pass at 13118 feet around 12pm.

With the snow melting, we started the descend on the Northern side through big snow fields. Lots of postholing, climbing rocks to avoid the soft snow.

Once at tree level, found nice spot for lunch break, still 6 miles to crossing with Kearsage pass.

We found a beautiful spot near Bullfrog lake to spend the night before pushing over Kearsage pass tomorrow to go to town and resupply.

My favorite day on trail.

Song of today: Lenny Kravitz – Believe

Lyrics:
If you want it you got it
You just got to believe
Believe in yourself
‘Cause it’s all just a game

Day 50 – From Rock Creek to Guitar Lake, mile 767+4

June 9.

Slept well, but it seems I don’t have much reserves in my sleeping system for colder nights. This night was at 9500 feet – let’s see how it will be at 11500 feet next night at Guitar lake. I will probably add my last remaining layers of clothing – hopefully no need for the puffy though.

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Breakfast with hot coffee held with cold shaking hands. 15min later on trail, you appreciate the sun rays warming you. Funny how different that was two weeks ago during the heat wave at the end of the desert section. 30min later on trail, I am sweating. First water crossing. Easy with my boots stepping from rock to rock even with water overflowing. Everything up to the ankle is no issue.

First short break at 2.5 miles and 1500 feet up.

Next water crossing short before Rock Creek. I am showing off my boots one again… 😂 The others went through either with their trail runners or with Crocs.

Arrived at Crabtree Meadows at 12pm for lunch with Tinkle, Cactass, Queso, Husk and Flamingo. Enjoying lunch… A Crystal Light drink, one tortilla with tuna and sunflower seeds, one with Nutella kindly donated by Tinkle.
So far my feet were holding up pretty good. But the blister patch doesn’t hold well… Need to decide what to do for tomorrow’s summit of Whitney.

Lying in the grass of the meadow. Enjoying the rest, the warmth of the sun… And music..😍

Song of today: Alphaville – Forever young

We just have four miles left to go to Guitar lake, so we should arrive after 4pm. It’s gonna be great to rest so much before the big day tomorrow.

At Guitar lake, I pitched my tent just next to where I had my tent on my hike two years ago. Amazing view… And it feels great to be back. My feet felt good today… I am excited and enthusiastic about climbing up Mt Whitney tomorrow morning. As the last time, I will leave my tent behind and only take what’s needed in my pack on the climb – warm clothes, water, snacks, electronics…

Spent several hours lying in the grass here at Guitar lake… Just enjoying the view and watching the clouds.

Cactass and Queso trying a new perspective

Dinner with tea, chatting with the others. In bed by 7pm. Can see the lake from my tent.

Day 49 – From Diaz River to Rock Creek, mile 760

June 8. We started walking around 7am after a quick breakfast. After climbing a bit less than two miles up to the next meadow, we met Cactass again who was waiting for us drinking coffee.

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We agreed on Rock Creek at mile 760 as final destination for today and Guitar lake just below Mt Whitney for tomorrow.

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Chicken Spring Lake

We set off for the first 9 miles to take a break at Chicken Spring lake where we arrived around 1130am. Applied new blister care to my feet. Now it is actually only the left foot that gives me pain and trouble walking.

Nice long lunch break… Washing my feet in cold water, napping, eating, …

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Last miles become more and more difficult despite easy trail even or downhill.. Everyone seems to have trouble to perform.

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Coming by Rock Creek – at this spot, I spent my first night on trail during my 2016 John Muir Trail Through Hike

Setting up for another cold night.

Song of the day: Eddie Vedder – Long Nights

About 18 miles in total.