Tuolumne Meadows(942.5)-Matterhorn Creek(963)
Today’s Mileage: 20.5mi
It was a great day back on the trail! I had four days off the PCT, but spent two of those days doing intense hikes in Yosemite, so it really only felt like two days away from hiking. We are headed off to Sonora Pass and this section has everyone freaked out! I’ll be so happy and proud if we get through it. It seems like a third of the hikers have either rerouted around this section or skipped it to return to later. I am hopeful we have good timing for the dangerous streams ahead and we should be okay fording them. I left with a great strong group and I’m excited to have some solid guys who will be great for helping me through the high fords.
I’ve been leapfrogging with most of these guys for awhile and I’m looking forward to doing this section with them. The only hiker we don’t know well is Scouts Honor. He was a week ahead of me and took time off to heal a shin splint. We got going at 6:30am and you could feel the nervous energy among us. There were many crossings for us today and we had heard a whole range of stories from simple to impassible. Even when there weren’t any crossings, the trail was often covered in water.
We were all ecstatic to have the first half of the day snow free and we made great time. I haven’t had such an enjoyable day of hiking in awhile. I was so hyped! It was overcast, which I love. It rained a bit from tome to time, but we were thankful that the thunder we heard didn’t become anything major. Balls worded it correctly when he said today that this was the trail he came out to hike. It made me so happy I felt like I could hike forever and my body felt like it had reached a new gear in the ease of hiking. I felt it yesterday on Half Dome and was surprised to feel so strong and energized again today with a full pack and tougher terrain. The trail had a bit of everything today. There were also meadows that were just awesome!
Yes, we did hit snow the second half of the day, but it wasn’t bad and we got to do a ton of boot skiing downhill. It was just a fun day! I thought of how great the Sierras must be normally without all the snow we’ve had and I look forward to coming back and doing the JMT.
As for the stream crossings, there were so many, I lost count. It wasn’t warm out today, so I was slightly chilled and damp most of the day. I would not have been able to do the crossings without having the guys to hold on to. Up until now, I had done almost all the fords on my own and I don’t like that I can’t do them on my own. Today, they were pretty strong and many of them went above my waist, so that’s when I have the most trouble staying up. There was one that we all thought looked simple and it was fairly wide. It got deep and more forceful in the middle and I couldn’t move. It did freak me out and I yelled over to the guys that I was losing control and that I was uncomfortable. They were back in quickly and I’m very thankful to have them with me for this leg! Here’s Scouts Honor, Balls, and Sunshine crossing one of the creeks.
I’m horrible with remembering names and I know many of my readers are looking for info. I’ll just say we were able to find spots to cross either at the trail or within 50yds up or down stream. I know the water levels change everyday and it will be a different experience for everyone.
At the end of the day, we lost Scouts Honor when he fell behind and he ended up trying a different route without telling us. We waited for him and yelled, but still nothing. We had to move on and crossed one more creek to get us over 20mi for the day. We camped near the creek in hopes of seeing Scouts Honor and we did. He felt bad about worrying us, and made a fire at the campsite. It was great and we were able to dry out much our soaked clothes. It is already quite damp at camp, so I’m not looking forward to putting on my damp shirt and pants tomorrow morning, but we will be wet from crossings most of the day anyway. Brrr! Have I mentioned how happy I’ll be when this section is done? I know more snow is ahead too, so I’m hoping for some sun to warm me up tomorrow!