PCT Day 58: It’s the altitude

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Five Lakes Creek & Tentsite (1516.8) – Lake Richardson (1534): 17.2 miles / 566 total miles hiked

Although the temperature was around freezing, it didn’t feel as bad as it did in Oregon. There’s some benefit to the dryness out here. I woke up several times during the night, and finally forced myself out of my cocoon around 5 am because my bladder was just too insistent.

The day began with a 1000ft climb. Somehow, I still feel totally out of shape and breathless, which seems strange after almost two months on trail. Sink blames it on the altitude, and maybe she’s right. This isn’t the terrain I’m used to. Hopefully I can adjust to it quickly, because otherwise the High Sierra, which is another few thousand feet higher, is going to be a drag.

At the top of the climb we had a short break in the sun, even though it was still only 50 degrees – you adjust so quickly to the lower temperature. After that, the trail wound along a ridgeline, with generous views and mostly easy terrain. I met two dayhikers with a stunning wolfdog that I immediately fell in love with.

Descending after the climb, I had to tackle several talus fields, which are never fun. They also made my ankle start throbbing again. Yikes.

Lunch break was had at a beautiful creek, the first water for about 9 miles, and we took our time.

There are also A LOT of scratchy plants out here and my legs bear witness to that.

After lunch we had another small climb and then an easy descent into a trailhead with a pit toilet. Always a pleasure to see those.

The PCT parallels the Tahoe Rim Trail for a while along here and it was nice to see some new trail markers.

The last few miles to today’s destination were a real struggle for me. In addition to the ankle, I had some serious pain in my left foot, making the walk over rocks and roots not much fun.

We had decided to camp at Richardson Lake, just before another long day stretch. 17 miles seems to be all we’re capable of at the moment.

Dinner at the lake was beautiful, and if you’re ambitious, you can even get your dinner directly FROM the lake. 😂

Since it’s still early, I have time to read my book for a while and then hopefully get some good rest for another day of hiking tomorrow.

Keeping you posted…

Leave a Reply