Day 151 – Pacific crest obstacle course

It wasn’t cold last night but my body is so sore that I didn’t sleep well again. 5am. I need a wee. I’m going to wait, the body needs training. Up and on the trail at 7:45am. Vince of course had already left! 

Today. Was. Tough. 

Not only was there 8500ft of up and 8700ft of down there were around 60 trees, maybe more, down across the trail. The Pacific Crest Obstacle Course. The morning was particularly bad, scrambling under and climbing over logs, stopping the bushes from smacking you in the face, avoinding hidden trip hazards and dodging streams. 

        

I met the King of the trees, just casually growing on a rock…I stared at it for quite some time. 

 

The sun came out, which was nice. Half way up the climb I tried to dry out my tent. Unfortunately the sun has no strength anymore and the wind is cold so drying stuff isn’t easy. When I reached the top of the first climb of the day Vince was there with Barely and Speakerbox. They asked me if I knew Cuban B, apparently he spent a long time trying to catch me. Aw, that made smile! 

          

All the elevation we gained we then lost and we could see the switchbacks going up the mountain for the next climb ahead, something I really wasn’t looking forward to, but in the end it turned out to be not that bad. (Zoom in to the middle of the below picture and you can see the zigzag path going up the mountain).  

 

The downhill wasn’t too bad. A little rocky and a touch overgrown in places but we descended quite quickly. Then began the long ascent. There were a few downed trees to negotiate. It’s a right pain when you have just clambered over a tree and you turn the switchback just to have to clamber back over the same tree!! This is the moment I had a complete sense of humour failure. 

But, the beautiful views on the way to the top made it easier. 

   
  
    

Then it was another long descent. And it was horrible. At the top of the descent the path was a ditch, barely wide enough for both feet and so uncomfortable to walk in. It pushed your feet inwards destroying your ankles. Then came downed tree after downed tree as we re-entered the enchanted fairy forest. There was a little detour avoiding part of the trail that had been completely washed away. The detour was basically a mud slide. I climbed and crawled my way around and under and over the trees. This was a tough day. My feet hurt a lot. 

Eventually I got to camp. Vince, Barely, Mosey and Swampmaster were already there. As we were all complaining about how many trees there were on the trail today, Speakerbox arrived in camp. His theory was perfect – “I think they gave a 7 year old a soda and a crayon and told him to scribble on a map and that’s how they made the trail.” It really does feel like that some days. 

My priority was setting up, lying down and eating. My legs were pulsating. My feet were throbbing. The mice are about already. Ignore them. 

25 miles. Too much up. Too much down. 

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3 thoughts on “Day 151 – Pacific crest obstacle course

  1. Wow! Impressed. I know what climbing 8500 ft is like, but only with a day pack and not with an even greater descent in the same day. Phew.

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  2. Gorgeous photos once again, Alex. And all with your iPhone. There are some that make me want to sing, “the hills are alive….with the sound of music.” You have been so much fun to follow on this journey. Thank you for taking us along.

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  3. Fun reading this now in retrospect having finished the PCT 8 days earlier on this section. I got to enjoy the perfect weather you missed during your mini YVR vacation. But I had the local knowledge advantage living in Bellingham and flexible in choosing my weather window.

    BTW, all those switch backs numbered 43 in all. I know as I marked them all the way up like this at half way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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