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Day 29 – Pinchot and Mather

I knew today would be difficult, but it exceeded all expectations. Roughly ten of the first 20 Miles were spent postholing and struggling through deep, soft snow. With each step I would sink up to my knee or sometimes deeper and have to pull out the leg to step again. It was incredibly exhausting. Pinchot was pretty straight forward but very snow filled. Then the clouds began to roll in. From the top of the Pass I decided I needed to rush to get over Mather Pass 10 miles away. 10 miles that were some of the most difficult I have hiked. With each step I sank deep into the snow, the visibility decreased drastically with the low clouds and it began to snow. I couldn’t stop, I had to make it over the pass. Thoroughly exhausted, I hit the cornice at the top and threw my knee up on top and rolled over. The second pass was complete, but it was a long way down through more deep snow to the Palisade Lakes. I dropped down below 9k’ to sleep in Grouse Meadow, making it one of the most difficult days of hiking ever. The snow sucked my energy, the weather produced anxiety, and rationing food hurt my energy. Muir Pass waits tomorrow.

Miles hiked: 30

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