PCT – CA Section P . . . as in Persistently Practicing Patience (Part 2)

Dates Hiked: May 22, 2015 (Part 2: Miles 1530.85-1537.19) . . . to be continued Direction: Northbound Section P: Castella to Etna -Miles: 98.5 (Halfmile 1498.7-1597.2) -Elevation: Low Point 2,157′, High Point 7,769′, Gain 17,594′, Loss 13,770′ After 10 days of stormy weather, it was time to face my retreat point and see for myself how conditions have changed.

Destination: The ridge between Deadfall Lakes and Toad Lakes

A bit of snow outlines the trail as it ascends from the Deadfall Lakes basin.

Lower Deadfall Lake

The beautiful colors of the mountains surrounding Deadfall Lakes basin.

Middle Deadfall Lake

The beginning of the snow trudgefest.

It was raining while I crossed this section of soft wet snow.

Such a contrast from 10 days prior when this was a steep snow covered slope punctuated by an avalanche fracture (Part 1 Post).

The cornice is gone . . . but . . . notice the bike tracks 😦

Only a fracture remains of what once was the cornice.

I postholed to my knees at times on this traverse. The rain stopped after I reached the ridge making for a much more pleasant descent. It was great to be able to grab some photos before the rains returned. Being wet and cold makes me question whether I have what it takes to be a long-distance hiker. I sure was glad to be heading home to an Epsom Salt soak and warm bed.

This snow traverse at 7,000+ feet is about 1/2 mile.

Not much snow on the south-facing slopes

The PCT sign is a good snow level indicator as the trail transitions from a north-facing slope into snow-free terrain.

There were several down trees, crossing with snow and on steep traverse slopes can be a challenge. The Backcountry Horsemen can’t clear the trails until the snow melts. I I was appreciative of the tree-free trail from Deadfall Lakes to Parks Creek Road.

A nice look back at the ridge separating Toad and Deadfall Lakes, showing the 1/2 mile snow traverse.

The geology in this area is quite interesting.

This is the trail crossing for the Sisson-Callahan trail, one still on my list to explore.

Ahhhh, back into my bright green forest . . . I love this section of forest. The trees are coated with a delicious shade of green – think Granny Smith apples.

Another look at Lower Deadfall Lake, this time from the PCT.

Deadfall Creek is running full with all the recent rain and snowmelt. This sprawling creek makes for an interesting crossing.

This tree was a real standout.

Looking northwest toward the Trinity Alps!

And so the story of Section P continues . . . 60 miles remaining . . .

Related Posts:

Jan’s Tips:

  • Permits are not required to backpack within Section P (exceptions Castle Crags State Park and Castle Crags Wilderness).
  • Bear canisters are not required. It is recommended that you hang your food. I use an Ursack and Opsak.
  • Cell signal and internet service are limited.
  • Spring trips mean unreliable weather forecasts and unpredictable weather. I had rain one night, sleet and hail another.
  • PCT resources
  • Sections of Section P (reference Day Hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail by George & Patricia Semb)
    • I5/Soda Springs to Dog Trail (7.9 miles)
    • Dog Trail to Gumboot Trailhead (18.2 miles)
    • Gumboot Trailhead to Parks Creek Road Trailhead (14.3 miles)
    • Parks Creek Road Trailhead to Fen Trailhead (12 miles)
    • Fen Trailhead to Highway 3 (10.9 miles)
    • Highway 3 to Carter Summit Trailhead (19.9 miles)
    • Carter Summit Trailhead to Etna Summit (20.2 miles)

9 thoughts on “PCT – CA Section P . . . as in Persistently Practicing Patience (Part 2)

  1. Hey Jan, thanks for all these posts… I’ve been looking over your other jaunts in the area and it’s got me thinking of a southern Oregon trip. Have always wanted to hit the Trinity or Siskiyous but never have. Food for thought that I am snacking on as I plan out my upcoming hiking season!

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