The Castle Crags.

Day 11. Wednesday, August 1, 2007

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Start: Town of Dunsmuir

Miles Hiked: 22.4

Stop: Lake Helen

(N 41 10.859, W 122 29.809)

Audio Journal

Wow. The hotel owner was true to his word, and took us back to the trail at 5:20. On the trail at 5:45. It’s barely light. Started hiking. Couldn’t find the trial, not because of the light, but because the trail was badly marked.

Finally, found a trail marker that indicated that we were on the PCT. We had a big climb ahead of us. (Had to climb over the Castle Crages).

A few of things went wrong. But even so we had a great day. After having a hard time finding the right trail, we passed the last water before our long climb. We had to backtrack a mile to get the water. We slacked packed, and upon getting to the water, we realized that we left our filter up the trail. Oh well, we drank the water without filtering.

So our water fiasco cost us an extra 2 miles. But our climb over the Crags was great. We hiked all around them, over many bumps and switchbacks. Got to seem them up close and from every angle.

After our climb over the Crags, we walked the crest. It was hot in the morning. In the afternoon we got a few drops of rain.

This has been probably the best hiking day in my life. We climbed over 5000 feet, with some of the heaviest packs we have carried yet (full of water, and 6 days of food). Also hiked the farthest with a pack – if you count our backtrack, over 25 miles today. The views have been spectacular.

Got to Trinity Divide at 7:00. And then hiked another 30 minutes so that we could camp at a lake. We are pooped. But its been a great day on the trail.

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The Castle Crags on the West side as we climb over them.
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We are leaving the Crags behind.
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A view of what we climbed.
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A view of the top of the Castle Crags.
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We are going West, away from the Crags.
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A special bug eating flower that is found only in this region of California.
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Finally, after 15 miles, a water hole.
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The Castle Crags from the West. What a day it's been.
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A zoomed view of the Crags, showing the trail we climbed.
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I love the crest. This trail is beautiful.
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We are circling a bowl that contains the Crags at one side.
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We took a rest here, with a view of the Crags. After this, we leave the Crags behind.
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The PCT in the Trinity Wilderness.
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A final view of the Castle Crags as we go over the Trinity Divide.
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On the way up to the Trinity Divide.
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I like lonely walking pictures.
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The Trinity divide. (Ken is there first)
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My final steps up to the Trinity Divide. It has been another long day.
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Finally, on top of the Divide.
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Helen Lake. Close to the top of Trinity Divide. We camped here.