Day 55 – South Fork Kern River to Muah Mountain Tentsite – 32km

Another entry from your fave chap on the trail – Bruce of course.

Sharing a tent with Layers is incredibly stressful, although I am getting better at not stressing about things rubbing on the sides of the tent, and getting better at sharing my space with others in general (only child here). 
We woke to frost on our tents and a low mist sitting in the valley. Naturally we had forgotten to put our filters in our tents but luckily they didn’t freeze! We packed up quickly to avoid the potential heat of the day, a feeling also motivated by the fact that we were to gain 2000ft+ of elevation. 

We moved out of the valley and into the alpine hills, where streams flowed across the path at frequent intervals, a far (and welcome) cry from the desert we’d not long left behind.

We ate breakfast and dried our gear next to a tributary of the Kern river before beginning our ascent. I hiked fast and after conquering the first climb of the day I hit the snow. I can’t speak for the others but I had lots of fun, focusing my mind on making the right decisions when it came to choosing routes and walking properly through the snow. I caught up to Trout who had taken a pretty hard fall whilst glaciading. He was fine but it was a harsh reminder of how merciless the surrounding environment is.

We stopped and ate lunch around 2pm at death canyon creek. Here we met with flytrap, yeti and jitterbug. Unfortunatly as we ate and chatted were eaten alive by mosquitos (my father has since emailed me to let me know he too was bitten to death by mosquitos this weekend whilst he was cycling in Scotland).

The rest of the days hike was uphill and I enjoyed pushing myself to maintain a set speed regardless of the grade of the trail. I always try to be out of breath whilst climbing a hill to increase my cardio fitness so I can cope well in the high elevations we will face in the Sierras.

When I got to our agreed campsite at mile 736 the people already camped there had lit a fire which we stoked and ate around, again whilst being bitten terribly by mosquitos.

Princess Layers here now. Bruce has done a mighty fine job reporting in on today’s adventures. Just a few things I should add in. Firstly Bruce is 6.4 ft, his legs pretty much come up to my shoulders so when he says he enjoys the uphill just be sure to know that the rest of us shorter folk as huffing and puffing our way up the trail. Sometimes, silently cursing the ease in which he makes it up, and also do not underestimate the effort that goes into up. Luckily we were rewarded ten fold with incredible views of the south Sierra and desert. As the sun moved through the day it was beautiful to observe the way the light played with the mountains, snow and forest. Secondly, big ups to Phoebe who nailed snow hiking. She is confident and we had so much fun slipping and sliding on the snow, gearing our nerves up for what is too come. 

Ps: I don’t actually ever run the tent, Bruce just takes up most of the room so I get squished. 

3 thoughts on “Day 55 – South Fork Kern River to Muah Mountain Tentsite – 32km

  1. Gooooo girls!!!!!! Looking great…. Don’t forget to practice self arrest on a small hill before you get to far north. I’m loving your blogs and pictures. Check your text messages. I sent you some info on packages. Goliath

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! You are moving into such beautiful country now! True alpine mountains with beautiful rock formations and real pines. I will be sad if you decide not to go on for now, but understand entirely if you don’t. I know i would make that decision if faced with your predicament. If the snow is continuous later on, unless you can follow the path of previous travellers the track is going to be increasingly difficult to find. The snow will hide everything. I had one of my 2 religious experiences in a high redwood forest in California years ago – on my own at sunset in a forest of lamp-posts – absolute golden unworldly perfection. You’ll know it if it hits you!


  3. Brave call that seems to be paying off with the magnificence of the mountains surrounding you. As wilderness writer, Henry David Thoreau once said: “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear itself.” Still, I can hear others calling out, confidence needs to be tempered with prudence. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Decisions, decisions…


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