Up and out early to make the 8 miles and 3000 feet up to Forrester Pass, the high point of the PCT.
Brother Dave and I made this hike 40 years ago, but none of it looked particularly familiar. I remember that we camped at a cold barren windswept lake below the pass, but could not recognize which one.
The hike itself went quickly and I was on the pass by 9:30. The view of course was spectacular and there was just enough haze and clouds in the sky to cast a slightly unreal dreamlike light over the landscape.
About a dozen hikers were at the summit, a mix of southbound JMTers and northbound PCTers. Most of the PCTers, including me, opted to descend via butt-glissade down a 500-foot snowfield. Good fun , and not nearly as scary as it might look.
The trail followed Bubbs Creek down to Vidette Meadows, what must surely be one of the most scenic and lovely trails anywhere in the world. The creek alternated between placid pools in lush meadows and roaring waterfalls over glacier-polished granite rock ledges. The lower reaches were stocked with very large and graceful trees, and the whole valley was bounded by the Kearsarge Pinnacles on the east, and snow-covered peaks on the west. It’s hard to imagine that there is a more beautiful spot anywhere. I really should have slowed down and enjoyed it more, but the trail has a way of pulling you onward.