Sunday, April 27, 2014

Day 16 - Idyllwild to campsite 191

View towards San Jacinto from Tahquitz peak
This was a very long day.

Last night we all crashed at Kay's cabin, by the campground. It was much warmer than sleeping outside, and I slept really well.
In the morning we went back to the campground for breakfast (breakfast burrito with fresh fruit and yogurt), picked up Sunbeam (who insisted she'd rather sleep in her tent), and headed out North back to the trail.
I was trying to decide if I want to walk into Idyllwild from the point where I twisted my foot, or just skip the road walk and continue from Idyllwild. At the end I decided I would hike up from Idyllwild, along the South Ridge trail. I wanted to get back to the trail right at the closure, so that I won't miss any pct miles.
Idan was going to climb out at a different trail, and we planned to meet up at the campsite at pct mile 191.
I started my hike up towards the pct at about 11:00. Quite a late start. The trail up towards Tahquitz peak wasn't too hard, but pretty quick up there it was all snow walk. The trail was very well marked by previous hikers, and it was just switchbacks to the top. The only annoying bit was the snow dumps on my head, as I was passing under those snow covered trees.
I passed several day hikers just before reaching the peak, and the views from the fire tower towards the peak at San Jacinto were very nice.
From there it was a short trail down towards the pct, but I think I still didn't quite make it to the northern closure sign. Oh well.
I hiked north on the pct towards Saddle Junction (where Idan came on it) and I met a ranger who talked to Idan earlier and talked him out of going on the alternate that climbs up the peak of San Jacinto. I was already tired from my earlier peak, so I didn't need much convincing, and I decided I'd also just hike the pct and not the alternate.
I kept on walking, all along in nice weather but in snow. I almost never stopped along my hike, only to munch on Snickers and m&ms.
Snowy trail up on San Jacinto
I was supposed to pass a flowing water source at pct mile 186 (last one for 20 miles) , just a bit after the peak alternate rejoins the trail. I thought I must have already missed it, but I figured I can always melt snow at camp at the evening, if I need more water.
Meeting Idan after a long day alone.
At last, just as I was getting to the water source, I spotted Idan starting to head out. He took a long break over there, and waited for me, and was just giving up. It was fun finding him again, and together we slogged the remaining 5 miles into camp today.
We barely made it during daylight, getting there at 19:40 or so. But we found a nice, snow free spot, just by a picnic table.
I set up my tent, put all my clothes on me, and cooked my dinner from under my quilt. It's cold in here, up at about 2500 meters.