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July 2, 2024 - Day 46

July 2, 2024 - Day 46

jbwils Jul 3rd, 2024
Mozart's 2024 PCT Thru-Hike

I woke up this morning extremely exhausted and I was so thankful for the late start. After all, we’re summiting the tallest mountain in the lower 48 at 14,505 feet. We got moving around 11:15 AM and had an eight mile climb up to the summit.

As we were walking up to the approach trail, we ran into a couple named Annie and Steve Frazier. Steve went to Georgia Tech so we had some fun conversation. Then, we got to walking. We didn’t have to bring our packs as we’d be back camping in the same spot we did last night but even still, the altitude immediately began taking its toll. It was slow walking with lots of breaks but the views began to unfold and expose more and more of the Sierra Nevada’s around us.

After multiple switchbacks and a steep climb up to the summit, we made it to 14,505 feet. It was a tough climb but wow… the effort was well worth it. We were surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in America and could see for miles. When Mackenzie and I reached the summit, we had the whole place to ourselves for over half an hour. We sat and enjoyed the sandwiches and other snacks we brought with us. In the distance, we could hear the shouts from nearby climbers communicating information back and forth from the base to the climber.

After a while, we began our climb down. This was A LOT easier than our climb up. No brainer there but we did it in about half the time it took us to get up. The afternoon light began to shine into the meadow below us lighting up the wildflowers and glacier lakes before us. It was incredible. If only the altitude didn’t take so much out of us. We ran into Wingman again and he seemed to have taken the worst of it. Out of breath and much less talkative than normal he still managed to get back to the base.

We made it to our campsite around 7 and began preparing our dinner in our mosquito suits - full rain gear and a head net.

Full and exhausted, I’m ready for some serious sleep.

Happy dreams…

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