Day 8: Endless Uphill

Tuesday June 30, 19.1mi/30.7km

Grider Creek campground (131.8/1700ft) to Ridge above Kelsey Creek (150.9/6490ft) (CA)

I was up at 5:30 and hiking by 6am, I wanted to get most of the 5000ft climb done before it got hot. I crossed the first of many large metal bridges over Grider creek.

The trail started off pretty clear, with not much overgrowth and only a little poison oak.

I slowly climbed 1200 feet over 6 miles, crossing several more bridges.

I climbed up to 3000ft, took a break at a camping area. No poison oak up here! Just curious deer.

And then, the PCT… disappeared.

An hour of this hiking was very tedious, and I had to pay close attention. Finally, I hiked out of the burn area and the overgrowth.

I had lunch at a trailhead, and then entered the Marble Mountain wilderness!

Once I was up on the ridge, the views kept coming.

And fields of Mules Ear plants.

It was hard work to get up here to 7000ft, but it was worth it. The mountain in the far distance on the right still has a snow cornice on it!

The trail (which is also the PCT for this section) traveled thru some postcard worthy terrain.

The rock stairs were a nice addition.

The rocky ridge above looked fun to climb.

I started to see more fallen boulders with cool white rocks embedded in them.

I stopped to camp at 6pm, 12 hours after I began the day.

I was very tired, but my Bigfoot trail map says I only did 19.1 miles. Of course the huge elevation gain (6300ft) and rough trail slowed me down a bit, but it still seemed off. I checked my GPS app, and my Halfmile PCT app, both showed 21.2 miles.
Hmm…I’ll have to compare the other days mileages now.

Tomorrow, I leave the PCT and descend (and reascend) 4000ft. This trail is tough!

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