Where we camped last year... More snow this year.
Camped at: 11S LB 03489 x 81689 (UTM)
SNOW. Boy am I exhausted. It took all day to go 3 miles. Major cramps in lots of new places. We topped Donohue Pass, and we are camping about a mile below it on the only dry spot for miles around.
Worst thing today is that Wesley didn't have sunglasses. Tonight he is suffering from a terrible case of snow blindness. It's obvious that we must get out of the snow and recoverů
I just want to go home! What did I get into? However, except for Wesley's snow blindness, we are equipped correctly. GPS? A must. Crampons? Absolutely. Rope? Not today, but it is obvious that it could be put to good use. Ice Axe? Well, so far no need for it, as long as you have hiking poles.
I met a nice couple on the slope on the way up to Donohue. They are the 13th and 14th PCT hikers to make it threw the JMT section this year. They are from Switzerland. They made fun of my new ice axe. They carried ice axes, but no crampons. I didn't know to be encouraged or discouraged by that, especially after they said that they used their ice axe often.
I wrote down their web address (www.finalweb.ch/PCT), and in doing so, I dropped my radio. Later, after about a 500' climb, I realized it was missing, and knowing how Wes likes to hike ahead (think yesterday), I decided to go back and get it.
In the meantime, Wes and Allen made the "top" of one huge slope, and hiked all around trying to find the pass -- and by doing so exhausted themselves.
By the time we got down off the pass, we were very tired.
We here very lucky to find this dirt (dry land). It is about 15' long, and about 8' wide, and dry. It is the only dirt for miles around.
Wes woke up about 9:00 pm after we all had fallen asleep. He was complaining of something in his eye. He was in terrible pain -- but I couldn't find anything in his eye. After he started to complain about both eyes, and after Allen said his eyes hurt too, we realized that they both and burnt their eyes in the snow. He was in a lot of pain. I gave him 3 IBProfen (the only pain killer I had), to help him to go sleep.
I fell asleep wondering about what we are going to do tomorrow.