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June 9, 2024 - Day 23

June 9, 2024 - Day 23

jbwils Jun 10th, 2024
jbwils's 2024 PCT Thru-Hike

We were back on trail this morning around 9 AM and were all immediately feeling the altitude. With full packs that each weigh between 35 and 40 pounds considering our food for the next 4 days and 4 litres of water, we began knowing we had an intense couple climbs up Mount Baden-Powell and Mount Williamson. These two mountains represent the last of the peaks that reach over 9,000 feet in the desert section (roughly the first 700 miles of the trail). From here, we’ll start heading back towards sea level brining the rising temperatures with it.

The first ascent up Mount Baden-Powell was brutal. Switchbacks from hell for 4.5 miles. The combination of the full packs, high elevation, and lethargic feeling bodies following our zero day, it took some getting used to but once we were on the summit, the pain went away. It always does.

We then hiked a steep decline down for about 8 miles to our next water source. An ice cold spring pouring right out of the side of a hill face. The PCTA had added some log benches as well so we at an early dinner and headed on our way hoping to hike an additional 5 miles. We had Mount Williamson next.

The trail took us back down Mount Baden-Powell to highway 2 where we ran into some trail magic. A group of local friends were feeding some other PCT hikers that they met on the AT and they strongly encouraged us to join. We met DJ Moss, Sway, and several others whose trail names are slipping my memory. They fed us hamburgers, hot dogs, beer, and a shot of whisky. It was a great break but we set us up for an all out battle up Mount Williamson.

The sun was setting, we were buzzed from the alcohol, full on two dinners, and tired from the day. We had another steep vertical climb up. That brought us to the ridge line that has an incredible view over the subards of Los Angeles. Rather than hike the 2 miles down, we’re camping on the ridge line of Mount Williamson hoping to catch the sunrise.

Uncle Rob suggested I add a map with a little marker as to where I am. I’ll have to think of how I can improve how I represent my location but for now, I’ll mark an X on the location of where we’re at as we make significant progress.

Happy drinking…

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