Day 15 – What goes up, must come down

Today started earlier than any other yet. We had goals of summiting Mt San Jacinto for sunrise. We were out of camp by 3:30 and on the summit by 5:30. It was cold and windy and a tough hike up but worth every second of it. We had been looking forward to this for a few days. What we weren’t looking forward to was what came next. 23 miles of almost all downhill. We had spent the last few days mostly climbing up. We camped at 8961 feet then climbed to 10,834. Our next goal had us getting water at a spot on the valley floor at 1740 feet above sea level. The net descent today was going to be around 10,000 feet. It was our highest point on trail so far, our most miles, and our most elevation change all in one day. It was also the last time we might ever see Take Out again. He had plans to get to the town of Big Bear in 3 days. We planned for 4. The descent down wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be but the last few miles were pretty brutal. It was hot and windy and there was sand everywhere. Once at the bottom, my feet hurt quite a bit but everything else feels fine. I had Reese’s peanut butter cups and fruit snacks for dinner. At least we get to soak in a river tomorrow. We also crossed the 200 mile mark today!!!

We ended up doing 26.3 total miles today but the mileage counter below is only for PCT miles. The summit trail was technically not the PCT so we were doing bonus miles to see the view from the top. The sunrise was spectacular. I’m glad I was able to convince everyone to do it. It seemed most hikers were skipping it this year. I love sunrise peak bagging. It’s how I like to summit 14ers back home as well. Our next sunrise summit will be Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the US outside of Alaska.

Miles: 24.8 Total Miles: 205.7

The view of Mt. San Jacinto from the valley floor at the end of the day, mile 205.7

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