Pack saddle campground Nobo 1207

This post is from August 28, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information are viewable on:

Paul Congdon and his son picked me up at 11:30 in Sierra City and brought me back to the PCT trailhead.

I hiked the 3000′ vertical, steady uphill climb for 8 miles with these views:

Descending on the other side of Sierra Buttes:



I arrived at the general location of our prescribed meeting point at about 4:45pm, but I wandered around for 2 miles before I located Paul’s campsite.

We 3 had an awesome evening together with a truly gourmet meal.

My ankles and feet serm to be doing OK.


Sierra City NOBO 1195

This post is from August 27, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information WERE SOMEHOW LOST FOR THIS DAY! 😦

I hiked 18 1/2 miles today to reach Sierra city and this comfortable bed and breakfast room from which I am writing this entry. The inn is called “My Sisters Cottage” in this very tiny town of Sierra City. I emerged from the woods and reached Highway 49 at about 4 o’clock this afternoon after an 8 AM start from last night’s campground. I had to stop and process the day’s water at about mile two which forced me to lose some time and I also took my now standard 20-minute break around mile ten to take the weight off of my ankles to let the blood flow there and hopefully avoid injury to my artificial ankle like I had on the Long Trail in 2016.

It was quite cold when I crossed this wind-swept ridge this morning at about 8:30 AM I had long pants on and a long sleeve polypro and I still felt cold with the wind until the sun came up higher around 9:30.  Later in this section, I would wish for these conditions as far preferable to hoards of gnats in all the orifices of my head.

This is a shot of the Jackson Meadows Lake area that I encountered about halfway through today’s hike:

Here are some views during the descent towards Highway 49:

This is a view of Sierra Buttes which is what I will have to ascend tomorrow morning. To reach the shoulder where the PCT passes over this peak I have to climb 3000 vertical feet over the course of about 8 miles. Looking forward to it.😀

Nameless tentsite NOBO 1177

This post is from August 26, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information are viewable on:

Paul Congdon and his son dropped me at the I-80 trailhead today at 9:15. As I hiked north away from the Interstate I passed through scenic, but different country:




Today was my first 20 mile day of this trip. I feel strong and no ankle pains. The big challenge today was the fact that there was no water from mile 11 to 23 and I did not want to try for 23 miles today so I had to load 3 liters of water at this spring and carry that 9 miles to the campsite. That made the pack heavy.

My feet are gradually improving. I still need duct tape for the heel blisters.

This is my campsite for tonight:

Up to this point on this PCT section, at every single one of my backcountry campsites, I was the only person within miles.

Interstate 80 – NOBO 1156

This post is from August 25, 2018.

The GPS track from this hike is found at:

Our team (Bill, Paul Congdon, Cameron Congdon, and Andrew Ezzet) assembled at the base of Squaw Valley just before the 10am first-run tram of the day.  We were on that first tram up to the top of Squaw.

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We then hiked about 1 1/2 uphill miles to return to the PCT.  We had the following views as we walked north from Squaw.


These were some of our views as we headed north to the Sugarbowl Ski area.  The team photo is from left to right Andrew, Paul C., Bill, and me.  Photo taken by Cameron.

During the last couple of miles we passed some interesting historical markers for the Roller Pass where California-bound immigrants literally pulled their wagons up the steep face by teams of oxen at the top connected to the wagons by multi-hundred foot long chains.  It put my effort on the trail in some perspective.

After the 1 1/2 initial climb up to the PCT and 13 miles on the PCT, the rest of my team exited at Route 40 where one of the cars was stashed.  I continued on another 4 miles to Interstate 80, where the team met me at the PCT trailhead at a highway rest area.

Squaw Valley Ski Area Summit – NOBO 1140

This post is from August 24, 2018.

The GPS track of this day is available via:

Bill dropped me off at 8am at Barker Pass.  We agreed that we would meet near the summit of the Granite Chief chairlift at Squaw Valley at 3pm.  Bill, Paul Congdon, and Paul’s son Cameron would all meet me there.  As I left Barker’s Pass, I quickly entered the Granite Chief Wilderness and was greeted by these views.

Before reaching the Squaw Valley ski area, I traversed along the top of the Alpine Meadows ski area for what seemed like more than a mile.  These shots are of that area.

This is a distant view of Squaw Valley just having started descending from Alpine Meadows.


I made it to the prescribed meeting place about 30 minutes early, and my 3 friends also arrived early, about 2:45.  We had a happy reunion – I had not seen Paul in a couple of years.  Ironically, when we were last together it was skiing on these very slopes at Squaw!  (excepting our chance meeting in St. John’s Newfoundland last September!). They look very different in August!

IMG_9565SquawDescent (1)SquawDescent (3)

Barker pass NOBO 1124

This post is from August 23, 2018.

The GPS track for this hike can be found at:

I got up at about 6:30am in a pretty cold tent and dressed in a long sleeve polypro shirt, long hiking pants and a Gortex jacket while I broke camp.  I was able to strip down to shorts and long sleeve polypro by my actual 8am hiking start.

This shot is looking back over Fountanellis lake as I  left it this morning.

Some of the views in the last 10 miles of Desolation Wilderness before I left it after spending two days in it.

After leaving the wilderness boundary, I hiked another 6 miles through normal PCT backcountry to Barker Pass, where Bill picked me up for another night in a bed.  I resume at Barker Pass at 8am tomorrow.  I will be doing 2 day hikes to reach from Barker Pass to I-80 at Donner Pass.

Fountanellis Lake NOBO 1108

This post is from August 22, 3018.

The GPS track of this hike can be found at:

I hiked the first ten miles of this 16 mile day with Bill Johnson and Andrew Ezzet, both of Tallac Networks. Incidentally, i think you can see where I am sleeping tonight from the summit of Mt Tallac!

the first few miles were a pretty ascent from Echo lake.

We then entered the Desolation Wilderness and the other-worldly Aloha lake region.

Bill and Andrew split off at the Fallen Leaf trail to complete their dayhike and I began the 4 mile 2000 vertical ascent of Dick’s pass. The pass is at 9400 feet elevation. I pushed hard and kept all 4 miles under 30 minutes per mile. These are views from the top of Dick’s Pass, which is actually a shoulder of Mt. Tallac, only a few hundred vertical feet below it’s 9,738′ summit.



I am now camped 2 miles beyond Dicks pass at Fountanellis Lake.  Here are a couple of shots of my tent close to sundown.