DAY 43 Heading to Pagosa

26th May

The alarm went off at 4.45. I silenced it. And rolled over really pleased with my new Rab sleeping bag.

The alarm went off again .I snoozed it and decided I needed a wee but as soon as I was out of my sleeping bag I soon learnt how freezing cold  it was. My tent was frozen  the grass was frozen.

I shut up my tent switched off the alarm  and snuggled back  into my sleeping bag.. far to early and cold to get up. 

The next alarm waa 6 am that will do. I emerged out on my tent wearing my puffy  and thick gloves. But my fingers were still cold . I put on a brew and began taking down my tent the fly was icy so will be wet when I get it out.

Tent away I made hot chocolate and had instant oats.  Made it too wet but it was still tasty.

6.30 and we were ready not a quick start.okay hill i am ready  for was a long hill but not too steep  as it had  plenty of switch backs..

Because of the cold morning I was still wearing my puffy a first for this trail.

As I climbed I noticed several dear watching me  with their huge ears pointed towards me. 

They watched me for a while before bouncing off up the hill..

As I climbed there were several snow mounds yo climb over  and then it was back to the blow downs. These just suck my energy.  as  your approach your thinking can I get over is there a route around . Then once that’s done there is another. After about a dozen of these I stopped to remove my puffy as I was roasting.  As I sat  two Aussies came  past.  If they started this morning then they are  fast.

I kept climbing  . Either the ossasional blow down util I was at the top 

I exited from the trees and was in a wide open place and All the tress were blown down.there was s path and some had been cut but others needed  navigating.

I began to go down hill and noticed the two aussies taking a break. The trail began to climb through the downed trees . I was on the middle of climbing over a fairly difficult  one when Calvin appeared  now known as blackout  lol.

He’s fast and was soon out of sight. I pushed on  clambering over under and around 

The trail then exited out onto the side of the mountain with fantastic views. I pushed on ,the trail then  was coverd in snow and  they were long stretches. I gingerly chambered up and used the  other peoples foot prints  still it was a little sketchy.   Then I came to another then another.

The concentration was immense.

After this the trail was fairly clear until I csne to a   large lava scree.  But was easy to walk on . I crossed about 4 of these 

Okay I need a break. At the end of one of the screes was a stream so I decide to water up and take a break eat my apple.

I was just about to move iff when shoes and Chameleon appeared.

Ducky was somewhere behind 

 They where ables to point out were I should be as the trail was hidden by snow. Okay my turn to climb and from Up here I could see Ducky and pointed to her where the trail was too..

I watched them go  then set off after them. Next minute I could see them across the other side of a hill going up

Eventually I emerged onto a wide open plane. Still snow to cross but you could see for miles and sat by a clump of trees was the team.

Ducky soon caught me and was gone.  I pushed on climbing through or clambering over fallen trees. 

When I got to them I took a break also.  

They plan to go to the pond.  I like to go further but I font think its possible  for me with this terrain. 

The trail climbed and there were dozens of snow Bumps  to get over. Then the trail was vlesr again until omg I could see shoes and Chameleon  in the middle of a very long and steep  snow  shute . OMG OMG  Idont like the look of that. I stopped at its edge and put on my microspikes  just as Ducky arrived. She too put on her spikes and marched  out I began following but when I looked up she had vanished. Once across I took 5 mins and  removed my spikes.

I packed up and set off after them. Ducky was still  resting.  

I pushed on up  the trail climbing snow bumps  or   traversing  them . After the last one I exited on a large meadow but once I left the shelter of the trees the wind blew and I was cold.haveing taken off a layer earlier . FUCK .

the wind was merciless  I crossed  several off these. Until in front of  me was a large  hill.

I decided I would around it,as I wked the ground became a bog so it was a challenge to keep my feet I rounded this huge snow field.i could see the gang sat together. when u reached them I dropped my pack and laid down in the dirt.this corner was sheltered  from the wind I  fact it was lovely and  hot.

After filter water they set off  and where going to climb and  meet the trail. 

I sat enjoying  the sun and my break when the Aussie  couple arrived. She has completed the Pct. Her parter hasn’t done a thruhike before. 

Okay I need to move.  I copied the route  thst my freinds had taken and cut across to join the trail.

It was snowless whoop. And headed down with amazing views all around. I pushed on checking my apps yes im on trail.

The next minute I wasoff trail.weird.i cut across heading where I think the trail should be

And once on I could see the huge cairns.

I I hiked on the trail became  wetter and boggy, due  to all the melt  stream runoff.

The two Aussies then past me .I began to follow them but as we desended  we ran into more snow  and was fairly difficult  to cross..phew this is exhausting. 

But I am loving  the trail.

In the distance I could see several  ponds. I watched the Aussies stop  for water.i grabbed  another Litre  just in case. 

I set off before them  crossing several more snow fields become the trail  climbed. As I stopped to  video  the pair  caught and passed  me again.

I followed them keeping them in view until I lost them on another snow shute.

I climbed over two  but I was off trail fuck no!!

It tok me a while to  find it.

The top was fairly  level and now the game was try to keep your feet dry haha.

I was now feeling exhausted. And I would put ip my tent ,but it was still too early…sob

I pushed on jumping the streams and boggy bits. 

At last the trail began to head down bur the downs were covered  on snow  snd the angles were steep.

So slowly I went. the melt water   takes the easiest  path and that’s normally the trail 

So that’s fun ,climbing down trying to  keep your feet dry

At last I’m at the bottom.okay about a mile to go.

I just about to scramble  over a tree shed 4 other hikers appeared. 2 I knew. as I moved on anther hiker  behind my said HI was xxxxx

We hiked on for about  10 minutes and then we were at the pond my destination  for the day.

I know my mileage  is poor but that’s due to the sketchy  snow and bloody  blow downs. 

I dropped my pack  and got out my tent. I lay the  fly sheet down  to dry as it was wet from condensation  this morning .

I then set up camp and eat supper. 

I’m so   tired

Mileage 12  a tough day. 

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