Pain and gain in the Sierra (Posted 10 July 2012, 07:55pm)
37.6394, -118.963

Over another mountain pass.

I am writing from the town of Mammoth where I have emerged after a challenging 9 day stretch in the high Sierra Nevada mountains. I was off the trail for a few days with a store stomach and probably started walking a few days too soon.

I hadn't been able to eat much and set off up Kearsarge pass without breakfast. My pack was at its heaviest yet with food for 7 days and some extra because of my hiker hunger. I got about half a mile up the pass before collapsing under a tree.

I forced myself to eat something and proceed, having to stop about every 30 minutes to lie down and fight back feelings of nausea. I should have turned back at this point but I couldn't face the prospect of hitching back down to civilisation just to lie in a hotel room again. It took me 10 painful hours to walk 7 miles but I some how made it up and over the pass and back onto the trial.

The following day was much the same and I was unable to eat much of the huge quantity of food I was carrying. I got over Glen Pass and not much further. The following three days the passes continued (Pinochet, Mather and Muir) and thankfully my appetite and strength slowly returned.

The backdrop for these days was just amazing. The trail has followed rivers up and down passes, across beautiful meadows filled with wild flowers and through forests home to deer, marmots, chipmunks, squirrels, birds and lizards. Above the treeline the landscape is rugged and rocky and there are patches of snow between crystal clear alpine lakes. There have been bright blue skies each day and still no sign of rain.

The miles have been slowly ticking by and yesterday I passed the 900 mile mark. The mythical mile 1000 looms and then the half way point of the trail at 1332 miles. The clock is also ticking and the weather and visa windows grow smaller with each passing day. I am still on track - just - but need to start putting in some longer days. But that begins tomorrow, because today I am talking a zero day.

Home for the night - Wanda Lake.


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Blog Archive

30 True to the thru (Part 4 of 4)
30 The waiting game (Part 3 of 4)
30 Something was wrong (Part 2 of 4)
30 A story that needs to be told (Part 1 of 4)
21 "I knew Typo would make it" (Part 6 of 6)
19 Throwing the Hail Mary (Part 5 of 6)
10 Up and down, but not out (Part 4 of 6)
06 Crossing Cutthroat Pass (Part 3 of 6)
03 Warming up in Winthrop (Part 2 of 6)

30 We're sleeping in a toilet (Part 1 of 6)
25 Another radio interview (Audio)
21 I made it
04 Nearly there

29 Trail Magic
19 Walking with Mum

28 Cold food
28 Hello Oregon!
20 40 miles in one day
08 Official trail name: Typo
06 (Humbolt) Summit Fever
06 Road walking around a wildfire

30 Two trail birthdays
18 A picture is worth...
10 Pain and gain in the Sierra

28 Hiker hunger
27 The inquisitive marmot
19 Stage one survived
05 Live from the Mojave (Updated)
04 I just walked 500 miles...

31 Current nemesis: Poodle dog bush
23 Mexico to McDonald's
23 Gear review: Sleeping pad
18 Hot and getting even hotter
12 Videos
12 Wildlife
10 People on the trail: Sunset
05 Eagle Rock
03 Hiker discount: 100%

30 The beginning
25 Final preparation
17 Blogging along the way
16 No publicity is bad publicity
08 Walking before the walk
08 Maps for the trail