I loaded my pack this morning with 12 days of food and an ice axe, traction spikes, bear canister, and warm clothing, and discovered it all weighed more than 45 pounds – ouch. I’m gonna have to eat a lot this week to make that pack lighter; today was definitely the heaviest it will be on this whole trip.
Because of the weight, an uphill day, and the collective decision of a group of 12 (!) hikers I’m camping with tonight, we all decided to call it at 14.7 miles and spend this afternoon lounging next to the idyllic Kern River.
After averaging a month straight of 22-mile days through the desert, things are about to change drastically. Through the Sierras, 12-15 miles is serious effort. I’ll be in the snow day after tomorrow, probably on Mount Whitney soon after. Can’t wait!