PCT Day 36: Kearsarge Pass

May 27

+7 miles

Barking Spider here again. I’m taking over the blog this week.

Our windowless room in the hostel was a bit of a sensory deprecation chamber. I got up in the dark an went to pee and was surprised to see it was sunny out and people were milling about.

We got up and made breakfast. There was a table full of hikers eating and chatting and we joined them as we wolfed down the last cooked food we would have for awhile.

Our next section of hiking is from Kearsarge Pass to Mammoth Lakes. 125 miles of tough going through the Sierra, over passes and fields of snow. In the desert we could count on 25 miles a day and put that in the bank. Through the Sierra fifteen is more realistic. So we got eight days worth of food and that’s maximum capacity for both of us. It was very sad filling every crevice of our bags and then feeling their heft.

We shouldered our bulging burdens and hitched back to Independence with a bread delivery guy. Homestretch had to sit in the back with the buns.

Reluctant to leave the conveniences of the modern world, we popped back into the coop. Stretch got a coffee to power her over Kearsarge Pass and I got a liter of half and half.

We had met one of the employees on the trail a few days earlier. Silky Smooth hiked the PCT in 2012 and now lives in Lone Pine. He gave us both coconut lime drinks and a very tasty strudel. We were overjoyed.

While we lingered in there a man asked us about the conditions up at the pass. We told him how it was for us and found out he was headed up there after he ate a sandwich. He offered us a ride as well as half of his sandwich! Thank you very much!

Up at Kearsarge Pass we struggled to adjust to the elevation. We gained 5,000 feet just driving up from town and we were climbing another 2,000. We took a break by the lake and ate some snacks.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, we felt totally acclimated and cruised over the pass no problem. Heading down the other side we saw big rain clouds coming in from the west. We hustled back to the PCT and set up our tent. I took a long walk to get water and after I got back and was safely in the tent it started to rain.


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