June 28, 2011

Photos are on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150284762575795.373339.589810794&l=3529450156

We began our hike on the Rubicon-McKinney OHV trail on June 19th. We stayed at Ludlow Hut on Lake Richardson. All of Miller Meadows was really part of Miller Lake. It was a very wet crossing.

When we joined up with the PCT on 6/20 at Lake Richardson, we only caught the trail by the lake and then had to snowshoe on what we thought was close to the trail. We headed for Phipps creek and never found the trail. We were picking our way through trees and over snow bridges. It was about a 10 hour day.

On 6/21 we had a gorgeous walk to Middle Velma and Lake Fontinillas. We were still on snowshoes, which made the terrain easier to manage, though our friend in boots was fine so far. We were able to catch the snow-covered trail, which made the day go very smoothly. We camped up at the intersection of the PCT/Emerald Bay Trail/Bayview Trail. It was nice and clear of snow up there.

We got an extremely early start on 6/22 up to Dick’s Pass in order to not be walking up a slushy mountain. As it was, we were cutting in steps and using ice axes for the full 2 hour walk to the peak. It was worth it to go slow-much more safe, especially for somebody like me who has never done any mountaineering before. When we crossed over Dick’s Pass, we made the mistake of not glissading down to the lakes. 2 out of 3 people in our group had never glissaded, so we tried to follow the trail. Big mistake-it was bad terrain and ended up being a 12 hour day picking our way through bushes and fallen rock. We finally hit the trail though, when we got to camp at Suzie Lake.

On 6/23, we left Suzie Lake and did a rough stream crossing. Actually, it was more of a waterfall crossing. We scooted on our bottoms across a fallen log, which was the best option. We had a great day hiking past Heather Lake,on part of the trail and then across part of frozen Aloha Lake and we were doing so well that we bypassed Tamarack and landed at Lower Echo for the night. This was the only time that we had trail for most of day, which is why we made good time.

We hiked out on 6/24 to HWY 50. The trail was clear except for all of the snow-melt. We fondly referred to the PCT as the PCTriver during the whole trip as all of the tiny segments we saw were creeks under snow-bridges.

Overall, the trip was filled with melting snow, which were fast moving creeks, under snow-bridges. The snowshoes were helpful, especially when the sun-spots got so big that my friend in the boots was slipping around in them.