May 26: Donner Summit to White Rock Creek PCT mile 1167 (10 miles)

I went out to breakfast with most of the gang. Chaucer, Wit, Sarah, the other Sarah, Amy and another gal whom I’ve forgotten the name of, are all tired of snow and low mileage days, and while the next 40 mile section to Sierra City is not nearly as challenging as what we’ve been doing it does have snow.

They are hiring an Uber to spirit them up to Sierra City. I thought of joining them but realized my logistical error: I have a food resupply, hiking shoes and a hiking pole waiting for me at the Post Office in Sierra City. Today is Saturday, so they close early (noon?) and Monday is a holiday! I doubt I couldn’t get there by noon and so would have to just chill somewhere until Tuesday. My former coworkers Mike, Roy and Andy would be very disappointed in me.

Instead, I chose to spend those days hiking, possibly alone, to Sierra City.

We said our goodbyes and I hiked down to I80 to hitch a 6 mile ride to Donner Summit, a rest stop on I 80. Not sure I’ll see them again, but who knows?

Chaucer showed me a website that charts snow coverage on the PCT:

It is complicated, but the orange line tracks the elevation of the PCT and the dark orange parts are where the snow is. The green line is a measurement of the snow depth. Donner Summit is at PCT mile 1157.

It looks great! Only a few places have snow!

Well, it’s wrong.

I stated hiking around 10 am and at 5:30 had only logged 10 miles. I was hiking is snow most of the time, and post-holing.

And it rained a bit, not too bad though, and visibility was limited due to low clouds.

Luckily there are tracks from a few hikers in front of me. You have to be right on top of them to see them sometimes.

I met two guys from Denmark that bounced ahead from Mammoth after tiring of the snow. They had set up camp in the Peter Grub Hut, a Sierra Club maintained cabin a few miles in.

I think they’re going to spend the night in there waiting for tomorrow s better weather.

When the trail is not covered in snow, it is a stream

or a bog

I saw some interesting cornices over streams,

and in the more exposed areas the snow is forming into snow cups.

At the top of a thawed ridge I saw some of my first flowers: a young Indian Paintbrush – yay Spring is coming!

Luckily both the larger streams I needed to cross had permanent bridges.

At White Rock Creek, all the established campsites were under snow or were bogs so I had to pitch my tent on non level ground.

I dined on salame, cheese, roasted almonds, and a ginger cookie for dinner, with a cup of Gatorade to wash it down. Not hating the diet yet.

No sooner had I climbed into my tent than it started raining lightly. It’s cold and dropping to the 30s. But tomorrow is supposed to be a sunny day!

Thanks for reading!

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