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Got up at 4:30 am for a spectacular hike over Silver Pass. I saw the stars and first sunlight from the highest point in the area. But, my goal was clear: make it to Muir Trail Ranch before they close at 5 pm–meaning two passes in one day. Go go go go go!

I started with Tom but the gnarly 2,000 foot climb/switchback and a yellowjacket sting put me behind for a bit. I hiked with an environmental architect from Tahoe who had a nice steady pace and excellent conversation until he took a break at the top of the climb. I saw Tom again, but at some point before the second pass, Selden, lost him.

Bear creek, the scariest ford on the PCT, is reduced to a stone hopping, dry foot crossing. What a sad year for water and snow in the Sierra!

As lightening and rain poured upon me on the way over the pass, I met Bunny Slayer, a PCT section hiker with a good pace. He kept me motivated and distracted from my fears from above. By the time I hit treeline at Rosemarie Lakes, I was starving, but the weather had cleared. I admired the beautiful day that had blossomed from the top of Selden, and enjoyed a bit of a run down—not knowing if I’d make it.

 

I pulled into MTR at 4:30, got my box, and decided to spend the night with some other hikers at the Hot Springs there. The ford across the river to the hot springs—an off trail trip–ended up being my gnarliest ford for the whole JMT!