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2007-06-19 Return to Onion Valley

June 19th, 2007

Walks With Son writes:
I returned SunWalker and Lucky Joe to the trail at Onion Valley on Monday afternoon. They took their packs and marched off towards Kearsarge Pass, weighed down by food for the days ahead, but lightened by the knowledge that they were getting back on the PCT at last.

PCT sign

Leaving the Onion Valley trailhead for Kearsarge Pass

This left me with several days to spare before my flight back to New Zealand on Thursday. My flight dates allowed for the possibility of hiking with SunWalker either before my conference or after. As it worked out I had a perfect hike from Kennedy Meadows to Trail Pass and my wish to enjoy a section of the PCT in the Sierras had already been fulfilled. Still, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the trailhead so I hung around for the afternoon. I helped a group of hikers who were heading in to follow the PCT south to Whitney but got caught out when their car couldn’t manage the road up from Independence. Thru-hikers Thunder, Dalton and Gabby went past me and up to camp on the trail to the pass. Eventually it got dark so I slept in the back of the SUV. In the morning I was getting ready to leave when I decided on impulse to hike a little way up the trail for a better view of the valley. My feet felt better so I decided to go as far as the first lake. Without a pack, or even food and water, the going was easy and I just kept going. I met Snow Berry and Easy Rider coming down for resupply at Independence

Two and a half hours later I reached Kearsarge Pass. The hikers I has assisted the previous afternoon were there after spending the night beside one of the five lakes on the way up.

PCT sign

Section hikers at Kearsarge Pass

PCT sign

Kearsarge Pass, Kearsarge Lakes and Bullfrog Lake. PCT passes Bullfrog Lake and crosses the ridge towards Glen Pass out of sight to the right of this view

Also at the top were PCT people Iceman, Erik the Black, Gazelle, Ricola and OJ. On the way down I met Mauka (sp?) and Abby, the Pooler Bears and Disco Dan going back to the PCT. Further down I met Breeze, Sage, Max and Hard Rock heading up. Near the bottom of the trail I was overtaken by Farmer Pirate and Lupin Lady

PCT sign

Gazelle, Breeze, Sage, Max, Ricola and OJ

(I hope I have the order right)

PCT sign

Gazelle and Erik the Black at Gilbert Lake

PCT sign

Onion Valley

Back at the trailhead I gave some of the PCT hikers I’d met on my little walk a ride down to Independence and then felt sorry for Jugs and Big Cat standing by the road in the sun trying to get back up the hill so I made one more trip from Independence to Onion Valley. Lieutenant Dan rounded out my day of hiker name dropping before I got back in my car and headed up highway 395 to look around the Truckee area which SunWalker should be reaching in about three weeks.

More photos of this day’s journey can be found at Kearsarge Pass

Distance today: 0 miles. Total distance: 788.5 miles

Google Maps

2 Responses to “2007-06-19 Return to Onion Valley”

  1. Andy Behr Says:

    Thanks for sharing these great photos. Every summer, my brother and I take a few local hiking trips. I want to take him to Onion Valley. It’s been a while since I’ve been to the Sierras…

  2. Denis Says:

    I hope Onion Valley didn’t suffer from the wildfires over the last two weeks. I read that the road was closed for a while. It is a beautiful place and with a series of lakes leading up to the pass it is quite a rewarding day hike. The view over Kearsarge Pass down to the PCT at Bullfrog Lake gives a tantilising taste of hiking the PCT through the High Sierra.