First goal of the day was to actually get all the way back to the PCT by backtracking the seven and a half miles over Kearsarge Pass. This felt slightly as a waste of time, but think this is the longest I will ever have to walk off trail for a resupply. On the way to the PCT, I met a couple of other hikers. Two of them I had been keeping up with for hundreds of miles but they had at leas momentarily now gotten a day behind me as they had opted to carry less food and do an additional resupply. Tommy surprise my Danish friend and his hiking partner were even further behind, they said. I don’t know why.
I eventually made it back to the PCT, and not long after that to Glenn Pass. It was however about noon, which I anticipated would be bad for the snow/ice firmness. The ascent was easy, and the views were amazing from the top. Probably the best aside from Mount Whitney. The descent turned out to be relatively easy. There was a snow covered section near the top so I brought out my microspikes and my ice axe. This was probably overkill as the holes from other people’s steps made going easy. After that there was some scrambling and a few patches that I mostly just walked around. I never lost the trail and there was very little post-holing despite the fact that we crossed the pass so late in the day.
After the descent the trail led to Rae Lakes, which were spectacular. There was a very slight breeze and a calming sound of the waves hitting the brink as I walked along it. At one time we had to cross a small section connecting two of the lakes. As hikers just in front of me had crossed barefooted and the bottom looked sandy, I did the same. It was thigh deep and quite cold, but the current was very slow, so it didn’t pose a problem.
A while after having left the lakes the trail meandered though a forest and brought us to a bigger ford. As I now only had one pair if shoes I took out my socks, packed down electronics etc. all the time while being eaten alive by mosquitoes. Despite the fact that I didn’t think I would have been able to cross without getting my feet wet, I somehow found a way. Before putting everything back in place I put on some DEET, an insect repellent for the first time on my legs. That surely put an end to the mosquitoes’ interest in my legs and one that was already sitting there fell off dead. Nice. They became a bit more interested in my hands and face, but there it was easygoing to keep them at bay.
Sometime later I came to a camp site and had my dinner there as there weren’t any mosquitoes there and because I needed a small break. I was quite tired and didn’t really feel like going further, but to position my closely to the pass I would be attempting to cross tomorrow, I really had to push on. As a little positive element there was a suspension bridge for pedestrians and I guess equestrians as well that crossed a small river. It was fun enough to cross and soundly constructed , but swayed quite a bit when I walked on it. I was quite tired and the next stretch went quite slowly. As an unwelcome surprise there was a larger than expected fording shortly before the target camp site. It was thigh deep and the water had some force to it, but taking it slowly made fir a confident crossing. The downside was that I now had wet shoes and they wouldn’t be dry by tomorrow as the sun had already crept below the mountains in the distance.
I eventually made it to the camp site and luckily it was a nice one with soft ground, trees to shelter for the wind, ad a bunch of other hikers as well. I felt exhausted and somewhat wished that I was back home.