Mather Pass

PCT 2018 Day 38, May 30, Wednesday.

Start mile 813.3, near campsites

End mile 834.8, campsites along Middle Fork Kings River

Miles walked: 21.5

Starting extra early at 5AM, I climb up to Mather Pass by 7:30. Following footprints was useful, but the last set of switchbacks were ignored, in favor of rock scrambling, perhaps a little too exciting at a steep 12k elevation. Summiting at nearly the same time are Nightingale and Hershey, and Lake and Frogger. I descend right away to get past snow before it is warm enough for post-holing. The path down is on a steep slope, treacherous. Several miles were necessary to get below from the snow, and post-holing began as early as 9AM, so starting early did not help much. We just had to power through. Then we descend on well-engineered switchbacks deep into a pleasant canyon, and follow along a river for much of the afternoon. I meet Easy, who I had not seen since before Kennedy Meadows. He heads off-trail to Bishop Pass to get resupply.

My campsite is by a river at 10k elevation, just at the 50 percent snow line, to be close to Muir Pass for tomorrow morning. Several other tents are nearby, as others plan an early morning summit.

Author: Jim, Sagebrush

Jim (trail-name Sagebrush) codes audio software for Windows, Linux, Android, and embedded systems. When not working at, he enjoys backpacking, which this blog is about.