PCT mile 767, Trout and thunder

Well, that didn’t take long. Two days ago I was sweltering in the desert. Today I sat through one of the most intense and thorough downpours I have ever seen.

It was only 12 or 13 miles to Crabtree Meadows, the closest point to Mt Whitney that PCT hikers are allowed to camp, so I slept in until 6 and cooked a leisurely breakfast of scrambled eggs and ham.

The 5 downhill miles to Rock Creek went quickly and I stopped to fish its pools and runs for an hour or so, landing many Golden Trout, possibly the most beautiful fish in the world.

Golden Trout from Rock Cr

I arrived at Crabtree in the early afternoon and set up my tarp for the first time this trip, as the weather was threatening. I had time to catch a dozen or so fish in Crabtree Creek and get back to camp just as it began raining.

A typical mountain thunderstorm soon turned into a deluge with many nearby lightning strikes.

I had pitched my tarp too high, leaving big openings along the sides and front, and the force of the downpour was soon splashing in not only water, but launching bits of forest duff inside as well. Although the spot I was in was reasonably well- drained, water began backing up from below, threatening to swamp the lower half of my ground cloth. I was able to reach out with my spade and scoop out some diversion channels before I was engulfed.

But the storm did end and it is slowly beginning to clear. I’m still planning to get up at 3 and climb Whitney, hoping the weather will behave itself for a few hours tomorrow.