I woke at 4am and started packing out, I wanted to watch the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell. I could hear lots of intense wind from above last night, I had a feeling it'll be windy at the summit. There were some parts up that were covered in snow but there were nice foot steps on it so it wasn't too bad. A bit icy but I prefer that over slush. There was a part where you can look over the ridge and it was above the clouds!! My favorite thing to see. I followed it all the way up to the summit. There was a little monument for Mt. B-P and box full of notes people have left. I walked over to the back of the summit to have the view of the clouds. I watched the sun rise over the horizon and it was so wonderful. It was pretty chilly and windy but not too bad. My toes were a bit frozen. GB reached the summit shortly after the sunrise.
I started heading down to connect back on the PCT when I got too cold. I passed Joe and Tori packing up their tent. They summited last night and actually saw Lisa and Rusty too. All day, I was following Lisa's tracks but never saw them! There were a ton of day hikers all day today. I finally made it to the Islip Saddle for lunch. There is a section of the PCT that is closed to protect the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog so there is an endangered species detour you can do that takes you 20.5 miles around to connect back on. GB and I discussed some plans since I didn't exactly pack an extra day of food but I didn't want to do the road walk detour. I decided to just follow him through the detour since I don't trust myself with the navigation. I feel bad for tagging along but we are always leap frogging each other and walk similar paces. Every time I get ahead, he catches up quickly bc I'm taking pics and whenever he walks ahead, I always pass him at a poop break or he stops to do something. But it's ok, I think we are good hiking buddies so far.
The first five miles of the alternate was moderately exposed on a ridge with steep drop offs. It wasn't too bad since it was mainly flat. We descended down to Big Rock Creek and took a break. My lower back was starting to hurt pretty bad. We laid down since we were both pretty tired for some reason. Maybe because the sun was back or because of the early morning. There were some sketchy people who were down by the creek and graffiti on a bunch of rocks. We decided it was probably time to go. I was wondering if there was a road close by because all these random people just kept coming by. Soon we passed this group of kids partying with a cooler of beer in the creek. As we walked on, there were broken glass everywhere and just really trashy looking. I wanted out of this area ASAP! It was a little confusing following the junction but we made it back on the right path.
We hiked over the ridge and back down to the campsite at Holcomb Creek. Even though it was a short day, I don't think there are many camp options from here on out so we decided to stay here and have an early start tomorrow so we can go to Punchbowl. The alternate so far has been interesting. Everything is so unknown and I feel like we have no clue where we're going. We have not seen a single PCT hiker! I'm not sure why everyone decided to skip this but guess we'll find out. We set up camp by the creek so there are a ton of mosquitoes. I already got bit seven times on my legs. I quickly got some water for tomorrow and hid in my tent for dinner. I am pooped, I think I need to catch up on sleep ever since that 3am morning a few days ago!