Bluer Skies; Still Difficult.

Day 166

Awaking from our nice camp spot nestled under some trees, we were happy to see the skies were clear. Knowing what the day had in store for us, we didn't get too excited; just thankful the nasty terrain wouldn't be paired with nasty weather.

Straight out of camp, we were climbing. A nice 1500 foot climb for breakfast -- the thru-hiker norm. We were happy to see less snow since we were on the south side of the mountain. Up and up we went, followed by down and down. Of course, there is never a down without an up, so back up we went! This time only 1000 feet. Ha, only.

As we descended from that climb, we kept going down, and down, and down. We weren't expecting to go that far down, and was worried we made a wrong turn before quickly realizing there were no turns to be had. We continued to descend and finally crossed the creek and went back up.

This stretch has 45 miles that have been closed for 8 years due to a huge storm. Last month they finally officially reopened the PCT, but unfortunately added about 7 miles of reroute. We have no idea where those 7 miles are, or in how many areas. Since we went down so much, then ascended an extra 500 feet (totaling a 2,500 foot climb to finish the day) we are hoping those miles had some extras sprinkled in.

Before we knew it, we were once again surrounded by white mountain tops. This is truly a beautiful, remote, and wild area. It definitely rivals the sierras for most gorgeous area. Unfortunately, we ended up on a ridge line, and the sun was down. We ended up hiking nearly two more hours to find a nice dry spot under some trees and off the ridge line.

Long day today, and only 17 miles in our book. Hopefully at least an extra one or two, but we have no idea. Looks like our eta to get into town is being pushed back a bit.

-- Ian