Raging rivers, huge bears, gigantic mountain passes, killer deer and waist deep snow fields!
To recap, we have traveled over 750 miles and finally made it into the Sierra Mountains. The desert was full of crazy creatures that consistantly tried to kill us. The heat was in the 100s every day and was considered to be a “cooler than normal” spring by the locals. That could have been because it got into the 20s at night?!
We walked the entire length of the Mojave flats and over all the foot hills then finally made it to the High Sierra, where we go from the lowest point to the highest point in North America. We are getting way better scenery but we have to battle 14,000 foot peaks to do it.
The days are harder on the legs but easier on the skin and we are finding it very difficult to catch our breath above 10,000 feet or so. Steep inclines are taking us a bit longer than normal because of this no oxygen thing!
Just the other day we made our way 22 miles with fully loaded packs over over two 13,000 foot mountain passes, forded 3 flooded and raging rivers and I had a deer jump over my head, literally.
The first pass was a near vertical ascent from 10,000 to 13,000. You can see it in the image where we are standing at the bottom of a wall in the snow and I’m pointing behind us. The area right behind where there is a rock in the middle of an opening is the small shoot we had to climb over. 3,000 feet of vertical ice wall! They said it couldn’t be done without mountaineering gear – we did it with running shoes and trekking poles!
The image of us really high up on a narrow ledge is almost at the top of the pass. Shortly after crossing that pass we descended back to below 10,000 feet then back up to 13,000 again for a second mountain pass. We then descended again, to roughly 7,000 feet then caught a ride into a small town where we are now at 3,000 feet.
Altitude sickness here we come! Atleast on the bright side we have pepperoni sticks and snickers bars! And if we walk fast enough we can get to Mammoth Ski Resort before they close and do some snowboarding!