Miles 1188 to 1161
We wake and examine the black bear prints. They are impressive. He made a beeline from the trail towards Klutz and Mountain Goat’s tent, then frustrated by the obstruction, grunted, veered between our tents and galloped to make it over the huge fallen tree.
Our goal today is to camp within striking distance of Truckee, so we can make it for breakfast. As we hike we encounter another bear on the trail. This one is much smaller and scampers away without so much as a grunt.
We meet more northbound thru-hikers, some who jumped the Sierras, but also some who made it through. Of those that made it, some beat the storms, but those that were in them say it was the most miserable weeks of their lives. They described whiteout blizzards, postholing waist deep and being slowed to a crawl. One described postholing to his shoulders. Another was so cold he spent the entire time thinking about food. Not that any of them work for the Sierra marketing department, but they made what is usually the highlight of the PCT seem like a nightmare.
The north facing portions of this section are covered with fields of melting snow. If not walking in slushy snow, we are wading through creeks which are supposed to be trails, but the water did not get the memo. Our shoes, socks and pant legs are soaked, muddy and cold. We decide to push on to Peter Grubb Hut, which is one of the few shelters on the entire trail. And it has a fireplace.
At the shelter we met a thru-hiker who tried to push south past Echo Lake, but turned back. This is not good news. We dry our stinky shoes in front of the fire. In Truckee we will have to reconsider our options.