We got a ride from town to the starting point of Devils Slide Trail, an alternative route to the pct, that climbs to San Jacinto peak (~10800 feet). After two zeros this climb was sure needed :)
One last look at the map and all 4 of us were ready to go - Blake, Matt, Roi and myself.
The landscape was very different from what we saw up to that point on the trail. It was kind of an Alpine terrain, with big trees and snow. Squirrels were running like crazy on the trail as if someone is trying to catch them. It was funny, it was beautiful, it was refreshing.
With every step to the peak we felt the steaks from the night before turning in our stomachs... It was worth every step though...
We did it! We climbed our highest peak in the US so far - 10834 feet (~3300 meters).
It started to be extremely windy on the way down and cold :(
After few miles we stopped at the last water resource for the next ~16 miles. It was a beautiful spot with freezing water that we had to filter. Roi almost lost his fingers there while filtering the freezing water... We decided to cook our dinner near the stream, so we won't need to carry extra water for cooking...
All other hikers decided to follow us and cook their dinner there as well.
And there we sat all of us, enjoying the sounds of the flowing water and warming ourselves with hot meal.
The next few miles to the camp ground were a nightmare. The winds got stronger and the temperature dropped. At some point I stopped feeling my hands eventhough I wore gloves...
The night was super cold, but luckily the campground provided some kind of a shelter from the wind by the huge boulders.
We started walking really early in the morning - 6:20, to avoid the heat.
From this point it was all downhill. Around 6,000 ft. Streched along 16 miles. It took forever to get down to the valley (forever = ~6 hours). Eventually we arrived to the valley and the desired water faucet, not to mention the 200 miles mark
We though the worst part of the day is behind us, but those 5 miles that came after broke all records. Walk on sandy flat path, heat of the desert, no wind to cool us, it was tough! 2 hours later we arrived to the famous Ziggy and the Bear house. These are two trail angels that live and breath PCT and PCT hikers. The second you arrive to their backyard a refreshing bottle of juice is handed to you and a chair in a shaded area, shower and breakfast are also part of the deal. We spent the night at their place. That evening 8 of us took a taxi to nearby casino. Casinos in the US are famous for thier dinner buffet, this one is no exception. Wonderful dinner we had there. We also recieved free 5$ to spend on the fortune machines. It took less than 10 seconds to loose all of it :)