Wrightwood was such a cool town I had trouble leaving. Nevertheless, I was at the P.O. when it opened to get my boxes and get back on the trail. Today we had Mt. Baden-Powell to climb. At 9200’ it is the highest point the PCT climbs in the So. CA section. About 1/3 the way up, the switchbacking trail disappeared for good under the snow. At that point, all the footsteps just head straight up. The snow was soft enough that my crampons weren’t necessary. Even so, each step forward usually slid backwards several inches. It was a long grueling ascent.
The peak had nice views, but lacked the majesty of San Jacinto. We took a break at the top to enjoy victory snow slurpies made with Kool-Aid and to let our wet feet dry out. The rest of the day was spent traversing a long, undulating ridge as we slowly descended. We made it to Little Jimmy Campground just as it was getting dark. Most of the campsite was buried in snow drifts, but one area was cleared. Jewel Thief and I ended up having the place to ourselves. We collected dead wood to make a fire to dry out our wet clothes. It was a great feeling to have hiked another mountain that so many others had skipped this year due to snow. I have no idea what they will do when they get to the Sierras and find them still blanketed in several feet of snow. While that thought seems to frighten a good number of hikers, it only excites me.