- Whitewater Trailhead – Jefferson Park – Park Ridge – back down to & camp at Scout Lake – Whitewater Trailhead
- Total mileage: about 11 or 12 miles
- Trail conditions: smooth trail through pine forests, gently upill till the creek crossing before you hit the PCT. After that there was no trail visible, as almost completely covered under snow. I assume it’s easy hiking through Jeff Park once the snow is gone though ;-P
- Top Spur Trailhead – Timberline Trail – Camp on ridge above Mc Neil Point – back along the much steeper short-cut between Mc Neil Shelter and the Timberline Trail – Bald Mountain – Top Spur Trailhead
- Total mileage: About 10 miles (totally doable in a dayhike if you have “healthy” body (not like mine I mean with that… even though my body is pretty awesome 😉
- Trail condition: Smooth sailing through pine forest and easy trails, quite some snow left though (beginning of July 2017) after Bald Mountain. Steep trail if you don’t follow the trail along the ponds but going straight up/down between Mc Neil Shelter and the Timberline Trail. We chose that trail on the way back down because the other trail was still covered in snow, and snow is -right now for me- harder to walk on. That cutoff trail is steep, a bit slippery but totally doable and not super exposed.
We get out of the car at Top Spur TH. A lady asks us where we’re going and if we hiked this trail before. No we say. But she has and so she gives us all kinds of advice of what to do and where to go.
The trail winds its way up through hemlock and douglas fir till it reaches the PCT… Till it reaches the PCT… Yes, I wrote that twice. The PCfuckinT! The trailsign… I could’ve kissed it but I don’t cause there are people around. O this trail is so intertwined with my own life’s trail the past years. After we had to get off trail two years ago because of my hips I had a hard time dealing with anything trailrelated. It just hurt. It took me a year or more to be able to look at maps again, or pictures, without feeling a knot in my belly and a sting in my heart. I now look at the trail differently I guess. The land quietly waiting for me till I’m ready to come back. I don’t know when I’ll be ready and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to hike long distances again… But I know the land is patient. Continue reading
- Eagle Creek Trailhead – camp at 7 1/2 miles camp – Eagle Creek TH;
- passing Punchbowl falls, High Bridge, Tunnel Falls, Crossover Falls.
- Total miles: 15-16. (Definitely doable in a day too if you have a healthy body)
- Trail condition: gently uphill, some steep dropp offs
We are parked under the Bridge of the Gods. I’m not walking across. I am under it. Sitting in a car. I feel a sting in my heart. A big part of me just wants to grab my pack and head out on the PCT. Northbound, southbound, who the hell cares. Just “bound”. Meeting the trail feels like meeting an old love you never quite stopped loving. There’s a heartbreak, yet a sweetness too. A longing. Maybe a belonging.
Instead we drive towards the Eagle Creek Trailhead, which makes the heartbreak a little less painful. I’ve been wanting to hike under Tunnel Falls for such a long time. Today will be the day… if my body allows it. My first hike, seven months after surgery. And to be honest, I don’t mind right now that I can’t hike long distances. At this point in my life I am just so so damn grateful that I cán walk. It’s been so hard learning to walk again. And even though every step still hurts, I walk with such joy and such gratitude. Ah. It’s all a miracle. I just love every part of the movement. Lifting my leg, stretching it forward, putting my foot down, shifting my balance, … A fucking miracle… and hard work, but noone ever said miracles don’t need to be worked for (or did someone, a well I guess someone did)… Continue reading
I am so proud of HQ who made a short movie about our journey along the Pacific Crest Trail.
As the title says, it’s about the ability to “continue smiling”, through pain, through ups and downs, through life. ‘Cause really when you look at life: It’s a miracle.
And so all I can do, is encourage you to keep smiling and following your heart. It’s the way to happiness! Be grateful, be who you truely are and share your gift with the world ’cause there is only one you and you got this one life to live to the fullest!!!
Here it is:
PS: While putting this video online yesterday I was in hospital and I was getting surgery scheduled. It’s gonna be hard but life always has its means of creating some sort of sense. I’ll walk my path… somehow… and next to the tears, which I am gonna cry for sure, I’ll do my best to continue smiling!!!
June 26th 2015: Lower Crabtree Meadow – Rock Creek – Cottonwood Pass – Horseshoe Meadow – Lone Pine. Ca. 21 miles (ya better go for it the last day :cP
Hike through smoke of the San Bernardino fire. It’s like it’s sunrise all morning. Mystic atmosphere. Hike through SAND (beeehhh) and pines all the way down to Rock Creek. We are hungry. Damn! We eat the shitty fake cheese and a handfull of trailmix. Why again didn’t we hike down to whitney portal after summiting? We feel kinda miserable in the sand. It’s slow going. Beautiful views down the valley though and along chicken spring lake. Cottonwood pass is not as bad as expected. Still we’re dead tired when we reach horseshoe meadow BUT we get a superquick ride down to Lone Pine and check in at the hostel, eat Mc Donalds (I know I know), shower and have a bed to sleep in. A real bed! THANK YOU SIERRA! IT’S BEEN GOOD!
aka PCT day 67: June 25th 2015: Guitar Lake – Mount Whitney – Guitar Lake – Lower Crabtree Meadow. Ca. 14 miles.
We leave Guitar Lake at 6:30 am. Ready to conquer Whitney baby! Ready to finish my second JMT Thruhike. We fly up. We pass a boyscout team (who camped at Guitar Lake too) and I wonder why the fuck they spoil everything for the kids. Too heavy backpacks, too fast, no smiles, bad backcountry ethics. That’s how you ruin it fuckers. We still enjoy the climb (not like the kids) and in 2.45h at 9:15am we’re on the summit. This time I don’t freeze my ass off. I DID IT AGAIN. WE FRIKKIN DID IT! WE COMPLETED THE JMT TOGETHER! YESSS BABY! Continue reading
aka PCT day 66: June 24th 2015: 3 ml before Forester – Forester Pass – Tyndall Frog Ponts – Bighorn Plateau – Crabtree Meadow – Guitar Lake. Ca 19,6 ml
We leave camp at 6:36 am (yes I checked the time on my cell phone) at 8:15 am (yes I checked again) we are up on Forester. The climb is smoooooth and easy and we got the pass all to ourselves. AWESOME! Back down in the basin we meet a very curious marmot…. o so cute. While we cruse the basin 2 or 3 other marmis (that’s how I call marmots) start a fight and all of a sudden all the other marmis in Marmi land peek out their heads to watch what’s going on in the arena. It’s funny. Marmi heads sticking out of the landscape all around us.