And and ready by 5:45 morning. The goal was to reach be base of Forester Passed by 8:00am... I was there by 7:45 which I was surprised by, because my legs didn't want to move fast at all this morning. They views up to the Pass were stunning as the sun rose. I feel as though I didn't appreciate this area a whole like while hiking through it. This stemmed from being exhausted from yesterday's long push, and an uncertainty of the infamous pass ahead.
At the base of the main climb, I could see others going up and over the pass which gave me some comfort, but it was still very icy and I took my sweet time climbing up the steep slope.
The last 50 feet were where the magic happened. A narrow traverse followed by a straight up climb to the top. Words cannot really describe the feeling of the top, but there was a huge sense of relief accompanying a euphoric sense of accomplishment.
I saw others from my group approaching the top of the pass, so I waited, took pictures and then videos of each of them breaching the crest.
Then the way down. The morning sun was directly shining on the downward slope which by 8:20 has already become soft. A lot of nearly falling followed by actually falling followed by a bit of post-holing cause the descent to take quite some time.
Eventually reaching the valley below, the snow became more patchy. This was heaven for my legs.
I decided to not stop and take any really long breaks today (something I commonly do), mainly because my feet were wet from a lot of stream crossing and I wanted to reach camp to relax and dry my gear out.
I reached camp around 1:30 (my goal was before 2:00), then setup camp, left my clothes out to dry and took a short nap.
ST and his buddy Ben rolled into camp about 30 minutes after me and we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. I was running short of food so I forced myself to ration, leaving some food for tomorrow morning and the hike over Kearsarge Pass.
Slowly the rest of the group made it to camp and we all relaxed and shared stories of the day while we made dinner.
We were all pretty tired, so we all made it to bed around 7:30pm and I was asleep by 8:00.