208.3 @ 7352ft “my lake” 19.1 miles hiked
We are up and out by 8am today, a much better effort than yesterday! It’s a climb down through snow, switchbacking across snow and mud and streams of snow melt. The trail climbs back up towards Switchback pass which is all snow. We can see two bodies heading straight up the mountain – Beacon and Mermaid – and decide to take the shortcut too. The snow is hard enough that we can kick steps in with only minimal postholing and sliding. It looks super steep and hard- like climbing a ladder.
Thank goodness we got up at uber late o’clock because it would have been impossible if we’d tried to climb it yesterday afternoon.
It’s actually a surprisingly easy climb, then over the top of the pass and start switchbacking down the other side. It’s a 6 mile descent through forest and over blowdowns. I’m in “get to the bottom” zone and nearly step on a little silver snake that is slithering slowly across the trail. Eeps sorry!
It’s getting toasty at the lower altitude so we stop for water about 2 miles from the bottom. A quick break then the best maintained 2 miles of trail so far since Marias pass. Yay! Nice hiking! Our destination is a ranger station for lunch.
Waitup is there already, and as we sit and eat it turns into a hiker party – me, Grizzly, Crunchmaster, Waitup, Beacon, Mermaid, Steven and Lucky Strike.
Lots more blow downs after lunch and I am not loving it. I try to make it more fun by singing the mario theme song as I ‘bounce’ across the logs. But I don’t bounce. There are only so many scratches, stabs and blood running down your legs you can handle with a smile. How long will this laaaast?!?!? I want to throw myself on the ground and chuck a tantrum for someone to magically appear and make the trail nicer. As always the only solution is to ovary-up and keep hiking. So I do.
A final steep climb of 1.5miles through a recent burn area to our destination for the night called My Lake. Another beautiful campsite! Grizzly and Crunchmaster are already there with tents nearly set up.
Wait Up arrives “you guys can camp where you like, but this is My Lake.” He chuckles to himself “yeah I’ve been working on that one all afternoon”.
It is so so cold tonight. There doesn’t seem to be any good places to hang food, and we haven’t seen bear signs for a while so we decide to sleep with our food. Let’s hope there are no bears with midnight munchies nearby.