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76 — Granite Chief Wilderness

76 — Granite Chief Wilderness

Strider Jul 21st, 2022
Strider's 2021 PCT Thru-Hike

Mile 1122.1–1143.9 (21.8 miles)

Rose: the wildflowers Thorn: heat, rushing the last two hours Bud: switching out some gear at Truckee tomorrow

Today’s theme was wildflowers. We wound up and followed ridges all day, dipping down and then back up several times. We would ascend and descend in dappled forests of tall, neon-colored-moss-covered pines. The ridges and traverses were large meadows filed with glorious wildflowers: lupine, paintbrush, monk’s hood, larkspur, wooly mule ear, common cow parsnip, cinquefoil, waxy checkbloom

About an hour into the hike, we came to a trailhead parking lot with a pit toilet and cell phone data. We wasted a good hour there downloading things and calling home. Beans got news that there’s a wildfire near her home town of Mariposa, so she needed to send her evacuation possession list to her mom. She said she’s had to evacuate every year for the last five years. I tried downloading topo for my Far Out maps—we had to download new maps coming out of Tahoe, which marked the end of the Sierra maps and the start of the Nor Cal maps. No avail. Eventually, I rallied the troops (Beans, Maverick, Pots) away from data by putting on Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop,” and we hiked away while boogying.

Our path took us up to wildflower-covered ridges along the Alpine Meadows ski resort. I love hiking ski resorts in the summer. It provides such insight into what the slope and snow will do in the winter. The ridge was very sunny and hot though. Beans found a single tent site under some shade on the ridge. We collapsed into eating our lunch. A SOBO LASHer joined us for lunch. After his departure, we took a short 20 minute nap.

My shirt was drenched in sweat in no time. It’s starting to feel like the desert again: hot, sweaty, sunny. We’re filtering water in tight spots on slopes. At a water source in the afternoon (we’re having to check the distances between water sources again too), a pair of experienced SOBOers gave us beta on the trail ahead: on the burn, skipping around, water, etc. Very useful exchange of information.


In the evening, we hustled to make camp and our prescribed mileage for the day. We crossed under the lifts for Palisades at Tahoe.

At the day’s conclusion, Pots, Maverick, Beans, and I camped at a campsite with this former PCTer who was now section hiking the trail after his 2017 attempt ended in a fall of a cliff. He was a little weird. His name was Chairman (he had a camp chair), and there were parts of his PCT stories that didn’t make entire sense. We had gotten to camp late, so we are into the darkness and hustled to bed.

At camp: Beans, Pots, Maverick, 1 section hiker (the Chairman), couple who we didn’t see until the morning

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