Holy cow it was cold last night! We woke up to frosty tents. I heard people moving around at 6:30 and started to panic. These people all get up early, apart from Bonus Miles who likes to sleep in, but he walks fast. I’m not by nature an early riser so I forced myself out of my sleeping bag and in the end I was the first to be packed up and ready to go!
It was a beautiful morning. But oh so cold. My fingers and toes were so cold they were painful. My shoes were still a bit wet from yesterday so my feet hurt with every step. It took around an hour for them to warm up and the feeling to come back. We crunched through the frozen snow and looked at the clouds hanging low in the valley.
There were so good views as we came over Cutthroat pass.
Farmer and I stopped in a patch of sun to dry out our sleeping bags and shake the frost off my tent fly.
This morning was gentle ups and downs until a big 2500ft descent into the forest. I saw an odd creature that I’d never seen before, about 5 times as big as a squirrel. We had a stare off for a while. Near the bottom of the hill Farmer and Bonus Miles were having lunch. Farmer said the creature was a Pine Martin. Very elusive. He’s on the tree!
The others cooked some lunch. I shovelled some Cheetos in my mouth and carried on.
I spent most of the day taking off and putting on layers of clothes and accessories depending on whether the sun was out or the wind was blowing.
After a couple of miles it was time to start the 2500ft ascent. No water for the next 12 miles and none at the camp so I carried a litre and a half with me. My bag is heavy. The climb was beautiful and around 30 switchbacks got us to the top. The wind at the top was freezing. Having got hot and stripped off half way up the climb I had to put on my hat my buff and my gloves again. We walked on a windy exposed ridge for about 4 miles, Light Feather was just in front of me. It eventually got so cold I had to put all my waterproofs back on to keep the icy wind out.
With just 3 more miles to go to hearts pass to make a 27 mile day I started to feel for the first time like I’d had enough. I’m ready to stop walking now. My feet hurt a lot. The cold is getting into my bones. I’m tired. The thought of eating ramen again makes me want to be sick. I don’t want to set up my wet tent and I’m done with being in a tent. It’s mostly the cold and the wet that is difficult. I’m getting shooting pains down my neck and my shoulders too. This would be so much easier without a pack.
I had to climb over a big log. There were a couple of grouse in my way. The did not want to move. I had to give them a poke with my trekking pole to move them out the way. Stupid grouse.
As I arrived at hearts pass there was a man there with trail magic. Hot dogs!! Oh I’m so pleased I don’t have to eat ramen tonight. I had survived the day on lots of British chocolate and biscuits and a handful of Cheetos. I was starving but the time I got there. He said go pick a tent spot first. Meh, I just want to eat! Apparently they are charging because it’s a holiday weekend. $4 and only 2 tents per site. Well we managed to squeeze 5 tents in ours. I got 2 sprites and a blueberry muffin and fresh water to go with my hotdog!
I saw Hops – that was who I saw wondering around last night!! I haven’t seen him since tuolumne meadows, mile 1100ish. I met Salamander and Happy Baby – still meeting new people on the trail. We were all so cold we went back to our tents. It’s a struggle to do anything when it’s cold. I made a hot chocolate to try and get warm.
5500ft of up 5500ft of down and 27 miles. Did I mention how cold it was?