May 15: Get Your Own Beanie!

May 15, 2011

(or…my first 20 mile day…)
What a day…woke up thinking of doing half of the 24 miles left into Idyllwild…then the weather. As I gained elevation into the San Jacinto mountains, the temperature began to drop. Clouds draped the range, dropping mist like raindrops. Wind physically assaulted from down the mountain side up, and occasionally from opposite sides, relentlessly. The higher I climbed the worse it got, and I was often thrown into the rocks or bushes on the sides of the trail, at one point my beanie was flung by invisible fingers from my head up the mountainside, where a full scale one man rescue operation ensued. I would not lose my handmade Kat Pierini beanie to this mountain. Not today! I stopped at one point & made a fire to warm up in a pretty wind-free cave, and dried out my bag, shies, gloves & socks. Ah. Small tip: watch your nice wool socks while drying them by a fire. Unless you want to be like me & burn a huge three-toed hole in them. *sigh*. I loved those socks.

After a couple hours, I carried on, saw some beautiful views, cursed the trail planners of the PCT (you really had to wind up and around EVERY point of the mountain? Really? I just want to get to Idyllwild, not gain more elevation!!) and eventually bedded down for the night about 5 miles from the trailhead to Idyllwild.

Sunset, moonrise

It was well past dark & below freezing, so I made my sleep spot for the night nestled on some ground surrounded by snow drifts. My hastily set-up tarp ended up over my head during the night somehow, but I was warm and toasty. A very non-shameless plug & “THANK YOU” to Jack & Jack at Jacks’R’Better…the quilt they sponsored me with for this hike has been nothing short of brilliant, and this night I put it to the test. Sub-freezing temps, wind, snow, a failed tarp set up, and I stayed warm & dry & toasty. I’m planning to do a quick gear review, so I’ll talk more about it later, but for now: wow. Thanks guys, I’m grateful for your benevolent spirit each night.


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4 Responses to May 15: Get Your Own Beanie!

  1. luz torres says:

    Oh how I enjoy reading about all your new adventures on my long commute back home 🙂 🙂 it makes my train ride bearable, thank you so much for inspiring and keeping so positive even in bad weather. I was worried that you would encounter bad weather and the San Jacintos can be brutal in bad weather. but hopefully soon you will be enjoying the warm weather and smiling and whistling along 🙂
    And remember if you need anything call me when you get to Big Bear 🙂 maybe some new socks that are not blessed by the campfire 🙂
    Take care

  2. brad says:

    Nice work Rawhide. Diggin the updates and videos. Keep em coming -except the blister close ups.

  3. earth walker says:

    Kewl vids, brah! I live to do this thru-hike one day. if all goes well, i can do a few sections around the Sierras later this summer. but i n the mean time, I have a few questions and a request – firs the request…cold you please give a rport of what the average day and night time temps are and a bit more on signiifcnat weather developmetns, like snaow, etc? tx, since it’s a record snow year, I’m trying to watch the weather to judge my timing to come to teh Sierra next month. Also, a question, do you regret how heavey your pack is? i belive in one of teh first vids, you said yourt pack weighed more than 39 lbs without water, which s almost 4 times was UL backpackers recommend. So just wondering if you/ve identified any gear you could do without to lighten your pack weight.


    • thf2 says:

      Hey Earth,
      The average temps in the desert have been hot, but cooler than avg. Maybe not more than 100 so far. Nights can get to freezing to mid-forties. Sometimes warmer, but the higher elevations have been cold. I’d say check the weather reports (I try to on the trail as well ehen possible) and call the ranger station nearest where you want to hike through.
      My pack WAS heavy, but I shook myself down & sent some things home. That was also with a full 8 days of food..every time there’s a resupply, the worst day is always the first two, since you still have a lot of food! I eat the “heavy” things first! I’ll weigh my pack without food & water next chance I get & post the weight for you.
      As for the record snow year, hikers have been getting through the Sierra ok so far I heard. Ice axe/crampons are common I’ve heard, though, and June 25th seems to be a commonly heard date when a lot if snow melt will have taken place. Good luck!

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