Sunday 12 June 2022

Forty Years Ago On The Pacific Crest Trail: The Thaw Starts

The Tuolumne River

On the 12th June 1982 I arrived in Tuolumne Meadows after a 29 day crossing of the snowbound High Sierra. The first 23 days had taken me and my three companions to Mammoth Lakes, where we sent home our snowshoes, skis and crampons as the snow was softening and the spring thaw starting. After two days in Mammoth Lakes, mostly spent eating, we spent four days walking to Tuolumne Meadows and encountered a taste of what was to come with a thigh-deep ford of Rush Creek.

Soft snow between Reds Meadow and Tuolumne Meadows

At Tuolumne Meadows we found the store had opened two days previously. As no-one in Mammoth Lakes was sure when it would open we'd left with 17 days food so our packs were still heavy despite ditching the snow and ice gear. I was shocked on weighing mine at a store - 92lbs/42kg! How I carried it I now have no idea. It had weighed even more for the 23 days to Mammoth Lakes.

Lembert Dome & the Tuolumne River

Crossing the High Sierra to Mammoth Lakes had been an exciting big adventure. I'd never done anything like it before. Now, I thought, I could start to relax and return to trail hiking. In fact the most dangerous part of the whole walk was about to start. 

I'll tell some tales of the next section soon. The full story is told in my book.

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