Two Weeks’ Hard Going Through the Snowbound Sierra

What does “two weeks” hard going mean?

“The first week of May, 1851, George Chorpenning, with a party of seven picked up 200 pounds of sacked mail at the Sacramento office and started east. The initial mail was delivered without incident. After two weeks’ hard going through the snowbound Sierra Nevada, Chorpenning arrived in Carson Valley.”

“It took [Chorpenning’s party] sixteen days to make their way to Carson Valley having had to beat down the snow with wooden mauls to open a trail for their animals over the Sierras. They left May 1 1851 from Sacramento. On the third day they encountered snow drifts in the Sierra Nevadas some fifteen miles above Placerville. It was on the 22nd day that they reached Carson Valley (about 180 miles on the then traveled route). When they reached the snow line, they dismounted put part of the mail from the mules on their own horses and walked for about two weeks. They trampled and beat the snow for the animals—traveling two, six to eight miles per day. For sixteen days they traveled and camped on deep snow.” (quoted in Ralph L. McBride, Utah Mail Service Before the Coming of the Railroad, 1869″ (M. A. thesis, Brigham Young University), p. 20)

The party again had to resort to “forcing paths through deep snowfields in the Goose Creek Mountains,” before reaching Salt Lake City on June 5, 1851.