Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 48 - Kennedy Meadows campground to wa722

Phew. Another one of those "hardest on the trail" days.
It started nice enough with some walking up along the Kern river, and then up some smaller stream. Long climbs, but nothing exceptionally hard. We made decent time, and figured out we'd reach our destination early, at around 16:00. So we planned to push a bit further.
After another little climb in a beautiful meadow, we filled up some water at a very nice spring on a short side trail. Later we had another break under a tree overlooking the Kern river again. The trail went down to it and crossed it on a nice bridge.
Crossing the South Fork Kern River
Idan getting water to clean his socks (away from the water)
From there, the big climb started. We climbed about 800 feet up in 4 miles, to our initial destination. The water there looked bad, and we couldn't see any good camping spots nearby. It was early anyway, so it was 2.5 more miles, with 1300 feet climb.
Entering a wide meadow
A nice panoramic view of the canyon
Horrible. We all felt the impact of the altitude, getting over 2500 meters. I could feel the air I was breathing was not enough for hiking on. Idan really felt dizzy, and Yair said he felt the shortness of breath even before. We really walked this last bit slowly, worried that the water source wouldn't have camp spots anyway, and we'd have to carry on (and up).
Nice tree near our camp site for the night
We finally got here at ~18:00, and found good spots. We filtered our water and made dinner, and am now in our tents, hoping the night won't be too cold, at 9700 feet (2960 meters).