Tenting near Lake Marjorie (PCT mi 809.2), walked 21.7 miles today
Woke up at 6:30 to frigid weather outside my cozy zone, which made me close my eyes again til about 7:30. Left at 8:15, then had to climb 400 feet and walk a mile before even getting back on the PCT ... got to stop doing that shit. First up was Glen Pass, which people tend to say is the steepest and sketchiest on the PCT/JMT ... Got to the top with little trouble and immediately noticed a donkey standing in the snow by itself about 50 yards off. Sensing that this might be one of Pascal's donkeys (see Day 8), I scanned around and saw the other one lying in the boulder field a hundred feet or so below the snow, with Pascal yelling at her and trying to yank her up. Someone told me she had fallen on the ice, which, as advertised in the Glen Pass portion of Yogi's guidebook, was covering a big part of the north-face trail and hadn't really softened much at that point, 9:30 a.m. because it seemed to be about 35 degrees at the pass still. Watched Pascal wrestle with Daisy for awhile, she slipped on the boulders going uphill repeatedly, one time she rolled back down the slope, like on her back, and I figured I was watching this poor donkey die or at least break her leg coming to a stop on the boulders. Somehow she survived that bit and made it back almost up to the trail before slipping and getting stuck again ... By that point someone had gone over to Jimmy to keep him calm and two other dudes and I decided to hike down and try to help Pascal and Daisy, which we did by fire-brigading all Daisy's gear uphill and then helping Pascal lead her up finally to the trail. As I left to keep hiking there were about 5 hikers plus Pascal trying to coax/pull Jimmy down off the ice/snow onto the trail, but Jimmy appeared unwilling to move. Someone told me later that they'd finally gotten him to the clear part of the trail. I didn't hear anything about how they fared the rest of the way down, because there were other patches of snow and ice for the next half-mile or so ... not much trouble for a human to negotiate, but probably hard for two traumatized donkeys.
After the excitement of the Glen Pass donkey rescue, the rest of the day seemed dull by comparison. Hiked mostly alone, including the part where the PCT pulled a PCT decided to send me uphill for 8 miles over 3.5 hours and 3,500 feet of elevation to Pinchot Pass. Not much snow on that one at all, just some chilly breeze at about 7pm on top. Got down a few miles on the other side before descrying an ideal tent site sheltered by trees and near water, but a fair distance from the lake. Camping near lakes is always ass-cold ... tonight will probably be ass-cold anyway because I'm at about 11k feet. Can't really feel my hands much as I'm typing this.