DAY 43 – Mile 744

the last of the Joshua Trees
The long sandy desert trail.
Leaving the Beaver Tail cactus behind.
Mile 700, whoo hoot. more than 1/4 of the way through.
the break between the desert and the begining of the Serria’s
Trail markers guiding the way.
new snow on Whitney.

 I have left the mountains, right at the foot of Mount Whitney, to meet Robin and to assess the situation. Although this is one of the driest snow years on record for the Sierras, they have received more snow in the last month then they got all winter. When I arrived at Kennedy Meadows rumors abound about 8 foot snowdrifts on Forster pass and a PCT hiker death. Based on those rumors at least 30 people jumped out from Kennedy Meadows and took a bus up to Reno to rejoin the trail north of Yosemite. I chose to press on to lone Pine to check out the situation for myself. In fact there was a PCT hiker death, but it was due to exposure, not a fall as had been reported, and yes there is a huge amount of snow on the JMT. I think I will probably pick up a pair of crampons and some self arrest device and continue on through the Sierras. And I am so happy to be finally done with the desert section and hiking through familiar stands Jeffrey Pine and high mountains. On we go. 

12 thoughts on “DAY 43 – Mile 744”

  1. Sounds good Dean. To me that section is the one I would want to see the most. You’re an experienced mountain guy so crampons and an ice axe would get you through.

  2. Hey Dean

    Been following you from that start and living vicariously through you on your journey. Be safe in the snow and keep on trucking. The world will still be here when you get back so enjoy the trail while you can.


  3. Love to read this. I too have been ready for “us” to start seeing trees! Not sure how much I am looking forward to snow-drifts, however. I was kind of looking forward to the California equivalent of the Church wilderness!

    Hold on tight, and keep on trekking/writing!

    PS: That tree root and the cactus flower are great photos.

  4. If anyone could handle the stretch with snow, it’s you!! What HAVENT you done? My boyfriend and I enjoy each of your updates. Continued prayers of safety and health to you and, go get um!!

  5. Looking good Dean. A little snow shouldn’t slow you down. You know how to handle that. The sign of a true hiker. Stay warm and “keep on truckin” We keep you in our prayers for your safty.

    P.S. On average how many hours per day do you actually hike? Do you stop before dusk to make you “camp”? How is your water situation? Through with your “dirty, dead rat water” LOL

  6. Glad to hear you are pressing on. Sounds like this is going well. Now you’re getting into the good stuff. Enjoy.

  7. Dean, I’ve been wondering how you are doing, as we didn’t get a post for a few days. Please be careful and know our “warm” thoughts are with you buddy…..

  8. Glad to see you have made it to the Sierras starting point in good shape. Enjoy your time with Robin and be careful in the snow, sounds wonderful to me! Thanks for the news and photos. Keep on truck’n.

  9. Having come this far, it would be difficult not at least have a look at conditions in the mountains. Take a little extra gear, keep your good trail smarts with you, and you should be fine. At least you won’t have much company! Be safe and all the best,


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