Day 48 (20180517): 789.13-802.6

Today we are doing the first of the PCT passes of this section, Glenn Pass. We were camped just 2 miles from the top of the pass and had planned an easy 13 miles for the day.

Making our way on the snow towards the pass

Making our way on the snow towards the pass

We started hiking late at 0700 and made it to the pass in good time as it was easy going. We did not expect to meet anyone else on the way there but met Smiley on the way to the pass. Once at the top of the pass we to our surprise saw another hiker descending the north side of the pass. He seemed to be struggling a lot and looked to be almost crawling down.

Panorama of the view from the top of the pass looking back

Panorama of the view from the top of the pass looking back

Looking at all the tracks descending gym the pass

Looking at all the tracks descending gym the pass

It was easy to see that the descent was much more difficult than the ascent. I went first and wanted to check the possibility of glissading down. As I sat down in the snow I immediately knew it was a bad idea as the icy snow was crazy abrasive. thanks Instead we followed some good footsteps down. To our surprise we overtook the hiker we had seen descending from the top.

Making our way down the pass

Making our way down the pass

As we were changing clothes we heard some noise from him and to our horror he was sliding uncontrollably down the slope. Once he came to rest we tried to get in contact with him. He did not immediately reply so we made our way to him. He did say he was alright but his hands were bleeding, he was clearly in shock and had lost his ice axe and one hiking pole in the fall. I went up to fetch his ice axe and hiking pole which took me to a very steep part of the slope, I probably should not had put myself at risk like that but we felt we had to do something.

Once reunited with his equipment I tried to give him some advice including the advice that I thought he should try and exit as he did not look ready for the section. He tried to pay us for our help but we all refused. We sadly also had to inform him that he could not join us as his slow speed and lack of skills would put us at serious risk of running out of food.

Further down from the pass we started post holing a bit but kept progressing. Once we got below 10000 ft it was like all the snow disappeared and we suddenly had dry trails which was a nice change.

The rock waterslide we passed on the way to camp

The rock waterslide we passed on the way to camp

At the bottom of the valley we started climbing again to make the tent sites nearest the next pass, Pinchot Pass. We camped at 802.6 and passed the 800 miles marker on the way there.

Selfie with the 800 miles marker

Selfie with the 800 miles marker

Once at the camp we did our usual chores and some other hikers turned up later. I setup my tarp tonight to try and keep a bit warmer.

Tomorrow we have a very short day planned as Mather Pass is located not far from Pinchot Pass and we are planning just one pass a day.