Date: 02 Jun 2018 09:18PM PDT
Location: Family's Home in San Jose, CA
Today's Miles: 13.7
Total Miles: 1018.1
Beautiful day to end the trail on. Sun was shining, views were amazing, snow fields were VAST.
Big climb out of camp, trail hard to follow from all the of snow. Almost no footprints to follow, but luckily most of the snow held out for the morning and was easy enough to walk on.
Multiple large snow fields to climb and walk on today, two of them over a mile long and along a ridge with no steps kicked in. It was incredibly precarious, and my heart was racing because of the steepness on the down slope. Snow was soft enough that crampons wouldn't work and merely collected snow on them which would freeze, decreasing traction.
Slow going, I used the edge of my boots to slice a small foothold for each step. Trekking poles were absolutely necessary, and if one of them would have given way I definitely would have been in for a self arrest.
Managed some cell signal near the middle of the day off a huge cliff. Double checked my travel plans for the evening, downloaded a few podcasts, say hello to the wife.
More snow fields ensued, including the last descent to Sonora Pass. The trail typically would switchback pretty heavily, but due to the snow and how it was melting, it was just a steep and slick sheet of snowy ice. Determined not to eat it on my final day out, I slowly but surely walked straight down the icy hill, heel steeping with all of my weight until I could safely traverse my way down.
Managed to get to the road early in the day, where I met a former PCT thru hiker who was heading out for a day hike. He asked how the conditions south of the pass were, and I smartly encouraged him to head north, considering there was very little snow in that direction.
Luckily for me, a trail angel from the town of Sonora was at the pass waiting for hikers. Unfortunately for him, I was the only one for miles to the south, so he packed up his stuff, and offered me a ride off the mountain.
We stopped at Kennedy Meadows (North) for lunch before making our way into Sonora. It was a long and windy ride, which took us almost two hours to go fifty miles.
After parting ways with the trail angel, I was pretty much on my own. No one wanted anything to do with me, and the one hitch I did get turned out to only get me a couple of miles down the road. Ended up calling for a Lyft, which luckily was in the area, taking it to the Modesto Amtrak station.
Public transportation to the rescue, I managed a train and a connector bus to San Jose, using a Lyft for the last couple of miles to my family's home.