Close Call             May 1, 2015
Close Call

Close Call May 1, 2015

Was pretty sore from Mt. Whitney, so I was expecting a slower recover day of 15 miles.  I made sure everything was packed good and my phone was charged.  As I went to go get some water, I felt my feet in some pain.  I know you have to take care of foot problems right when you start feeling them, else it can take you off trail a couple days.  Turns out my two middle toes had blood blisters.  Think it came from having my shoes to loose, think my feet kept sliding forward smashing into the front of the shoe.  I already bought 5 pairs of shoes to finish the trail.  I did some research and found your feet can grow.  So, I bought shoes that were a half size big.  Apparently, I still outgrew them.  Taping up the blisters and taking two foot breaks helped my get thru the day.  On my second break, Big Mile came around the bend.  I couldn’t believe it, it was over a week since I’d seen him last.  It was great to catch up.  Before I started eating my second lunch, Big Mile kept going.  Luckily, I was able to catch up and hike with him the rest of the day.  We both had planned to make it over Forester Pass.  The highest pass in the Sierras and on the whole trail coming in at 13,153 feet.  It was getting late in the day, but we both thought we could do it.  While we headed up to the pass, it had a big obstacle to go around.  It was called the ice shoot.  If you have mountaineering gear, you can climb up and over it.  For the people that didn’t, slash me, we had to climb around it.  With a steep drop off, there was no room for any error.  We scrambled to the top by 5pm and it was cooling down fast.  As Big Mile and I looked off into the distance we saw massive snowfields in the path of our destination.  We had to make quick decisions and I was definitely not looking forward climbing down the same side we just came up. Post-holing took a lot longer than we expected to get to past the first major snowfield.  Sinking hip deep diminished our pace to nothing.  Our feet kept getting stuck underneath the snow and frustrating us to max capacity.  There was no turning back now and our feet kept getting colder and colder till they went numb.  The sun fell behind the mountains and temperatures dropped just as fast.  It turned out, I was able to find the easier way across.  While he was still headed over, I knew he needed to warm water to keep going, so we could drop 2,000 feet before setting up camp.  He was so flustered mentally, he couldn’t go any farther.  I knew we couldn’t split up, so we set up camp on the trail at 12,000 feet.  The wind was horrible it flung my tent poles back and forth at a 45 degree angle all night.  I boiled water and put it in my powerade bottle, so Big Mile could warm up his feet.  Without that, I’m sure one of us would of had frostbite on our feet.


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