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Bishop Pass

2010 August 7
by Elizabeth

Well it’s decision time. We reached Le Conte Canyon today and found a beautiful spot in Little Pete Meadow to camp. The deer are really friendly here. We’ve seen several grazing only a few feet from our campsite. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing our next move. Due to issues with my feet we have had to slow down. I can only do about 10 miles a day before the pain becomes too much. At this rate we will not make it to Mt. Whitney in time to make our flight in Fresno. So I have come to the realization that we will not finish the trail. We will not summit Whitney. One of our fellow hikers put it in perspective for me the other day. She said “Why are you so goal oriented? The mountains will still be here. You can always come back ”

Once we realized that we weren’t going to finish we had to decide which escape route to take: Bishop Pass which would mean finishing 6 days early or Kersarge Pass which would put us in the little town of Independence one day before our flight in Fresno. I’d like to take the last option but we are doubtful we’ll be able to get from Independence to Fresno in time for our flight. According to the rather crude map we have of Independence, there are only a couple hotels, a gas station and a mini mart in town. We aren’t even sure if they have a bus line that could get us to a larger town and it’s a 5-6 hour drive to Fresno which would be a pretty long hitch. So it looks like the smart thing is to take Bishop Pass out.

This morning I was still feeling bittersweet about our decision (Yea, Showers in two days! Boo, leaving the trail early) when two hikers walked by as we were making breakfast. Mike and Doug were on their way to Whitney. The other 7 people in their group had one-by-one dropped out due to various injuries and had taken most of the food with them. They were now rationing food and trying to supplement with stream-caught fish. Well we had plenty of food (8 days to be exact) and if we were taking Bishop Pass we only need 2-3 days worth, but this meant we were for sure not going on to Kersarge. This is the confirmation we were looking for. Our going off the trail early means these guys would make it to Whitney. We already knew we weren’t going to make the summit, but it would be pretty awesome if we could help someone else make it.

On our way off the trail, we were able to help out two other people who were low on food. We got to be what they call “trail angels” out on the AT. It was a lot of fun and made our decision a little easier.

No Responses leave one →
  1. Jack Hasenmyer permalink
    August 17, 2010

    “Trail Angels”, I lke that!

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