Mileage Breakdown: 11.3mi JMT Alternate + 3.2mi PCT + 3.0mi Unplanned Detour = 17.8 miles.
Very challenging day. Though very beautiful, the terrain mainly consisted of steep incline followed by steep decent. The snow, slush, water and mud added a nice touch to the whole experience.
About half way into the day, I missed a crucial turn at a fork in the trail. Instead of leading on toward the PCT and Island pass, I wandered 1.5 miles in the wrong direction. It was very disheartening, but I had an even longer ways to go before the end of the day, so all I could do was turn around and move on.
About 100 yards after turning around, I found Butterfingers had followed me down the wrong trail. The look on her face screamed, "NOOOOO, don't tell me we went the wrong way". But we had, so together we hiked as quickly as we could to avoid getting into camp before dark. This also meant we didn't take very many breaks.
The views were gorgeous. The wind and cooler tempuratures kept me from stopping to take them all in, so I took a ton of pictures which I could appreciate from the comfort of my sleeping bag.
Island Pass is nothing like the other passes along the PCT/JMT. more of a rolling hill, I never really knew when I had passed it. It's shallower slopes held a lot more snow which caused the end of the day to be mainly post holing in the slushy mess.
In camp, we had a large group. Primarily due to the fact this was the last good campsite before tomorrows pass. I'll plan on being up bright and early one more time. Hopefully it will be the last early morning for a while.