This morning, I woke to the smell of cigarettes coming through the campsite and into my tent. Not sure how stoked I was on that. I mean, it's cool that people can hike all day and smoke and be ok with their lungs but for some people, they come outside to get breathe fresh air and want to keep their lungs healthy. So for some reason, I haven't been able to wake up super early. Maybe it's bc these days are just much harder and I sleep more but I just can't seem to do my 3am wake up times. I didn't get up and out till like six or so. I really wish I would've though.
The climb up Pinchot pass was long and sleep. I think it's safe to say: everyday in the sierras, you do the stair stepper and then drop 5k ft, ford at least five rivers and will have soggy feet/shoes/socks all day. My thighs were actually sore today from yesterday's long descent. Downhills really kill you. Pinchot was a bit sketch bc of lots of steep loose rock. The snow was super slushy already also. I wanted to get to the very bottom before I took my lunch, it's also where there was another ford that had the strongest current to date. There was a moment there where I thought I was going to lose my balance. I took a quick lunch before the ascent to Mather pass.
A bunch of people had already gone by and there wasn't many left who were trying to do Mather. I figured I'd keep going until the last campsite and see how I felt. I tried following the couple from Canada for awhile but I was just too slow. All of the snow was so so slushy and slippery bc it was late afternoon. I finally reached the base and we were only a mile out so it's like we have to go on. I went up with digger and frost. There were a couple spots where we had to climb straight up loose scree. Then we had to climb up a steep snow wall using only previous foot holes made. There was a nice Asian man named data who has stayed back to help others up, what a nice guy! Once we reached the pass, going down would be the next challenge. This part pretty much sucked bc we were off trail and climbing down steep loose rock and slushy snow. There were so many times where I thought I was going to die.
By now, my feet have been soggy for over six hours. They were also starting to hurt a bit. I was so scared what they would look like when I took off my shoes. We finally found the trail and followed it to the next closest campsite. I just couldn't go on anymore so I am here with the Canadian couple, the old guy and some JMTers. Data was so nice and kept behind me the whole time while I slowly descended from the snow but he hiked on after I stopped. Alright, I hope to wake early tomorrow.