Some days are tougher than others on the trail, and today proves to be a tough one. It starts with Molly postholing immediately as they cross snowfields after a wondrous starry night in camp. After a PUD (Pointless Up and Down) they begin to see less snow on the trail as they descend to Piute Creek, their first major crossing of the day. After the surprise of yesterday’s crossings being less stressful than anticipated they are disappointed that today is not the same. They choose to cross Piute upstream where it is split into several channels rather than swim across at the point where the PCT crosses the creek. After a bit of searching, and using notes they’ve had from friends ahead on the trail, they find logs to carry them across the first couple of tributaries, and Ethan appreciates the beauty and the scent of the pine forest they’re in. They take a break by the meandering river amongst some massive trees. They continue across the marshy ground before heading uphill. By lunchtime they have made only 5 slow miles; with many physical obstacles, water crossings, and snow making navigation difficult. A sketchy descent from Seavey Pass to Rancheria Creek sees them slipping and sliding towards the raging river. The trail goes alongside the Rancheria/Kerrick Creek for 4 miles before crossing; unfortunately the steep snow banks right by the river make for nerve-wracking walking, with microspikes donned they debate using their ice axes as well. This does give the the chance to scout for crossing points as they follow the river, but it seems pretty brutal all the way along. It’s tough to find the PCT, with false tracks in the snow leading them astray. They get halfway across the creek on a log, but have to retreat as the final section is too dangerous. They find another log and make it part way across, before braving the cold waters and fording the next two sections. They’re euphoric at making it over the creek, but it’s taken them 5 hours to make the last 4 miles, it’s 7pm, and they still have 4 miles to go. They summon their resolve and head uphill again, eventually making camp after 10pm before Stubblefield Creek, which they don’t want to take on in the dark. It’s a hard slog today, in Episode 77 of Trail & Errors.