The theme of the day was WIND!
Starting at the suspension bridge, the climb up to Pinchot Pass is 7.7 miles long. It took 4 hrs 45 min, slow going with big steps and lots of rocks. Then the wind started!
I was walking at a 45 degree angle most of the day (it was a headwind for me) and got blown off the trail multiple times (just to the side, not down a slope). I had to stop and wait out wind gusts when I had to cross creeks (needed all 4 points of ground contact when it was worst!), and even on the other side of the pass it didn’t let up (if anything it got worse).
A hiker I met said there was a high wind warning until 11pm tonight so I’m hoping tomorrow’s pass will not be as bad. I do understand now why Jim (hiker in Chester) bailed on Pinchot just before the summit – it’s not a fun uphill. I also heard that on Mather Pass, the earthquake has caused a slide and the first bit of trail after cresting is covered with rocks. I’m sure it’s doable.
Besides the wind, today was just the long uphill and then a shorter downhill. Others had camped at Lake Margorie but said it was very windy/loud all night and very cold! The forecast cold front has definitely arrived.
So I hiked down to the South Fork Kings River; at least I have some trees around. It feels like it could be a cold night but I’m ready.
Having only hiked 12 miles meant I was able to set up camp early (3:30pm) and rinse my shirt and pants in the river. I ate early and am looking forward to reading a bit before my eyes get too tired.