PCT Day 17: Really High

 Day 17 6-4-2015   Sleep 2130-330
Miles 763 – 809.2

Big; one word to describe it
            I wanted an early start to go over the PCT’s highest point, Forrester Pass 13,200 feet.  I was excited to go up a big mountain pass and see this high point, but more to feel it.  I was cheery because it was overcast keeping things cool, not too breezy which kept it from being cold, but also provided some pretty nice reflections in the ponds/lakes along the way.  It was quite the mellow climb, until about the last 500 feet.  Where the trail was cut onto a ledge along the rock face.  It was so magnificent.  Lord of the Rings style.  From the top, the view was inspiring, but I didn’t stay long.  I made my way down the other side.  There was only patches of snow which made footing awkward at times, but all in all pretty easy passage compared to what it could be.  Finally, down onto the trail it was a long and seemingly never ending descent crossing creeks frequently.  The sky was dark.  I reached the bottom and the trail headed up.  I knew this meant another pass.  Worried a bit I was looking around for possible places to find respite.  Sure enough, one of those loud slow building cracks that sounded like it started hundreds of miles away and then struck down just a mile from you.  I ducked under a boulder and took it all in.  I decided I wanted all the energy I could have after the storm had passed.  If I have to hustle or go later into the night, I wanted to be rested.  So I set an alarm for 90 minutes and closed my eyes.  I believe I entered a deep sleep and then woke twenty minutes later.  Amazing.  When you are that tired your body can be really efficient and get you a quick charge. 
There are rocks in the water in the cloud
Although I think you should always progress forward, sometimes it is okay to look back
Heading to Mordor
The other side; if you have done enough drugs there is a smiley face
The thunder had gone away but it was still sprinkling.  The clouds looked faint to the west and I thought, might as well go for it.  I had a little extra hitch in my giddy up and it made Glen Pass seem pretty easy.  There were some flurries flying for the last couple hundred feet of climbing.  It didn’t last and the skies eventually cleared.  As I started down the backside, I had a good feeling.  This was going to be a glissade.  I traversed about 200 feet past the butt tracks that went straight down at the cliff, shaking my head at the sketchiness.  Either they knew there was a cliff and have the biggest balls in the world or they had no clue and were super fortunate to not send the 100 foot cliff.  I found my line and I prepared my ass.  I sat down on my garbage bag, heels in front just off the snow for braking or steering purposes.  My hands held the garbage bag that was providing a smooth slippy surface under my butt and pack.  I leaned back and weeeeeeeeeeee! 500 feet covered in no time.  It was fun, exhilarating especially because you feel a bit out of control and can get going pretty fast.  I passed a couple a little ways down.  The girl and I joked about going up and doing it again, she had a good time.  The guy just grunted and hardly raised his head, he had a bad time.  A bit further I ran into a threesome of ladies with a tent setup and a stove out.  I said howdy and they asked if I would like some warm tea.  I said, “ha, I wish. No thank you” and kept on running.  I felt too good to stop.  But three ladies, alone in the woods, surely you were complaining about being lonely just awhile ago.  Don’t care, on a mission.  I am sure they were a bit confused as well.  
View from Glen Pass
 Making my way through Rae lakes was absolutely beautiful and I day dreamed of camping up here just for the weekend with someone special.  As I assumed the few tents I passed along the way were doing.  They weren’t worried about this “big storm” oh yea, the big storm I forgot.  Well, I am not going to worry about it then, seeing as I had forgotten about it for most of the day.  I was flying down the descent.  When I reached the bottom, there was a crowd of thru hikers camped right at the Woods creek crossing.  With the sun setting, I couldn’t help but want to set up camp and enjoy the sun set in the company of these strangers.  But I knew I had to trudge on and so that thought vanished quickly.  I made my way up the long climb to Pinchot Pass.  After awhile, in my head I was thinking when I get over Pinche Pass, get down quick and find a Pinche spot to camp.  I was tired and cursing in other languages.  Cresting the top was such a warming feeling, I teared up a bit.  I bombed down the descent a mile or so and began looking for some tree or rock for shelter.  I was able to get right up under a tree with many low hanging branches.  My feet were not above my waist as I would like and they were exposed out beyond the branches.  But I didn’t care, I was exhausted.  Home is where you make it!
Rae Lakes; couldn't you imagine camping here with that special someone?
Or I would just camp here and watch the show


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