Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Before we started this adventure, my biggest fear about the trip was going over Forrester Pass. It's the highest pass we go over and it's only 1500 feet shorter than Mt. Whitney; which we climbed just yesterday. I saw this National Geographic special on the PCT that showed an aerial view of a girl struggling with every step, going straight up a wall of snow and ice. The view from the helicopter captures the sharp edge of the pass and you get vertigo just watching the view in the background blur as the shot pans. As the journey began and most hesitations laid to rest, I still had that image of Forrester on my mind. I watched the snow reports. Not sure if the rumors of a low snow year would turn out to be true. It wasn't until last week that we had confirmation that there was almost no snow on Forrester Pass. Today, we went up and over the pass and it was, by far, the best part of this entire trip so far. In fact, from the rocky switchbacks at the top, far ahead of us, Jacob yelled, "This beats Whitney for me!" It was funny because we had this dreaded image in our minds and in reality most of the day was spent laughing at Marmot antics so hard our stomachs hurt. Brett said, "No one ever mentioned that when they were talking about how hard Forrester was." We couldn't tell which one was Forrester Pass until right when we were crossing through it, which was kind of magical. At one point, we were pretty tired and looked straight up and saw an endless rock wall. Then, just as we were thinking we had a looooong way to go, we were there. The Sierras have been an entirely different experience than the rest of the trail and they definately start a brand new chapter in this story, but I think that climbing Forrester today brought the trail to life in a whole new way for all three of us. There is a definate reason John Muir and the rest fought to preserve this place. It's really, truly incredible and inspiring. It's like Disneyland for outdoors people. I've probably taken more pictures today than in the last two weeks. Tomorrow we're headed out over Kearsarge Pass to go to the town of Bishop. We'll eat, rest up, see a movie, sleep in real beds. And then, we can't wait to see what the rest of the Sierras have in store for us.