“My mom wrote in her letter to me that our goals should scare us a little and excite us a lot.”
Another one of our Salty Trekkers, Sarah McCroy, has been thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this summer and is now nearly halfway through her journey. We caught up with her as she approached the halfway point of the trail, after successfully summiting Mt. Whitney.
Mt. Whitney is an exciting part of the Pacific Crest Trail that many hikers look forward to, but it is a section that must be approached cautiously and at just the right time. It is the highest peak in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14,505 feet.
After hiking a full morning, Sarah and her crew weren’t ready to take on the mountain until the afternoon. She got a sinking feeling when she started seeing friends coming down from the mountain after already successfully reaching the summit earlier that day. She knew it was too late in the day to start the climb so, after discussing it with her friends, she and one other hiker decided to hang back while the two others went on.
Her friends returned later and told them that a storm was rolling in. She was upset when she realized that she and her friends would be forced to skip a part of the trail that they had really been looking forward to.
The next day, Sarah woke up full of regret, but knew that she had to make the safe decision.
The trail to Forester Pass began easy, but as time went on, it became a snowy mess. At one point she had to dig her foot out of the ground which resulted in a bloody shin. Fortunately, she was distracted from her shin by one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sections of the trail.
Another day of hiking followed and they made their way to Lone Pine for a zero day. While there, Sarah just couldn’t stop thinking about Mt. Whitney and how badly she wanted to climb it.
After thinking it through, Sarah determined that the weather had provided her with the perfect window to hike back to Mt. Whitney and achieve what she set out to do days ago.
This would mean leaving her friends behind and hiking an extra 40 miles of trail. She would have to repeat Horseshoe Meadows and Forester Pass, but thankfully, Forester Pass was her favorite part of the PCT so far.
She prepared her pack, which was heavier than usual since she would be hiking Mt. Whitney with no break before the High Sierras.
On her 48th day on the trail, she began her ascent of Mt. Whitney around 6:45 am. She started the climb alone, but met up with a few trail comrades along the way.
Eventually, she made it to the sunny summit where she took in the incredible view.
After a rewarding 24 mile day, Sarah made it to Crabtree Meadow that night and camped alone for the first time out on the PCT. Beaming with pride, she fell asleep reflecting on what she had accomplished that day.
We wish Sarah luck as she continues her journey to the Canadian border!
Sarah’s journey was truly incredible. And even after a bloody shin, she had the fight to continue onward! Sarah also had Salazon Chocolate fueling her journey to the summit of Mt. Whitney. Check out Sarah’s favorite chocolate bar, 57% Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Coffee, to see if it’s the right jump starter for you. Take 10% off your Salazon Chocolate order with discount code HIKINGCHOCOLATE.
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