The climb out of Walker Pass was 4 miles of up on desert sand. Then 4 more miles up on broken rock and cobbles. As we neared the top of the ridge the wind picked up and Figure 8 asked me if the little white things floating in the air was snow. I thought so but that would be weird. In just another 200 ft up we turned a corner right into a strong headwind and a fair amount of snow. Today was supposed to be 85 and hot. What would be next? Locusts?
Our slightly bizarre weather day just confirmed to me how unpredictable things on the PCT can be. The views all day we’re getting are more and more distant into the next set of mountains we will be in soon as we got up to 7000 ft. Next we had about 2000 ft to descend to our next water source. The snow slowly turned to gromple and then to rain. Gromple is when snowflakes melt a little and collect up other wet and frozen flakes to make larger wet heavier blobs of snow that seem to defy their weight to gravity and still float down somewhat like snow. Maybe 500 ft more decent, and the snow and gromple turned to a light rain. It began to feel cooler now with the rain than up on the ridge where it really was much colder. The trail had been technical to hike up and down today with all of the rock and we had to be even more cautious when the rock was also wet. After just 13 miles and 7 1/2 hours we settled into a nice camp spot, set up the tent on a flat area and built a small fire to dry out about 3pm. Short and tough but rewarding day. Figure 8 had an airplane bottle of Makers Mark that one of her girlfriends, Chelsea, had sent to us which also helped us celebrate a good hard physical day and warm up a bit. We made rice and heated up some pouches of vegetable curry that Papa Romero had stocked us with that was surprisingly one of the better camp meals that we’ve had on the trail so far. Lace enjoyed playing with the fire while I rested in the tent. Now to watch the fire die down and sleep.