DAY 44 Heading to Pagosa day 2

I heard a few people moving when my alarm went off but I silenced it and switched of the 5am one two.

6 am that will do . Even though I was near the lake I did not have condensation on my tent. Result. 
I packed up and when almost done made a hot chocolate and some instant oats. 
As I walked I stopped to look at the lake . It looked so beautiful. 

Okay let’s go I was on trail by 7am not the best get away lol.
Typically  after a few yards it was dozens of blow  downs to navigate around or over. The trail then followed several other small lakes before diving into the forest again and then began to climb .
Then I hit snow a big wall of it how the fuck do I cross that. Then I noticed foot prints  heading up.
I gingerly climbed on up I was on the trail but still had to climb, phew I sounded like an old steam train. The altitude  just sucks my breath away . I was slowly chugging when  Blackout (Calvin ) came by he’s just so fast.
Then the Aussie couple appeared, Ollie was also struggling with the altitude. I pushed on climbing up into more large snow fields. It was handy having Blackout in front as I could  see which way to go.

I seemed to have spent the morning climbing through snow, so it was great to be out in the open but some of these were littered with lava rock so I was not able to get any speed up.
A Marmot dashed in front of me. They are like a cross between a cat and a beaver (to me ). He made me laugh not sure if I caught him on camera.

Marmot

It was time to climb again and I could just about still see the Aussies, enabling me to make small short cuts . It wasn’t a bad climb and I was soon coming down the other side.
Below were several lakes and in front a vast snow field. Foot prints went in all directions . I decided to make my own route and it worked out perfect. I then noticed the Aussies up on top . I pointed to the correct path.  But some how they were able to intercept  with me. 

I pushed on through the snow and then snow bumps  after the last one I lost the trail.  …
That’s the bonus of being high up. I followed them for a while until they stopped at large lake  to water up.
I checked my app I was off trail. So again walked back to the trail turned sharp across a frozen lake 
There was a small climb and then wow there was a huge beautiful  lake. I stated  at it for a while  before moving off. Once again the Aussies seemed to have found a short cut back to the trail..
The rest of the afternoon I followed the Aussies.  The trail was long stretches of lava with a dozens of melt water run  offs so it was a challenge to keep your feet dry.. The trail now began to climb and I lost sight of my friends .I stopped to grab water just in case then began the climb .it was long  and steep  and I was puffing again.  But wow once on top the views were amazing. But then it was down and once again huge stretches of snow and dozens of streams .

Now the wind had got up and I was getting cold . Even more when the sun was hidden by clouds.  I was still heading down .now I want a tree with shade so I can take lunch. At last I dropped my pack, filtered some water and had  a few snacks  Okay back to the trail. First another snow field to cross.
I was doing  okay  but even as I crossed another I missed the trail.
I was just pondering when Monk came by and he was flying, almost running.
I followed after him but lost him and the trail, another hiker then appeared behind me. Don’t follow me I said I’m off trail
OH. She said and veered left. I followed after her.
It’s here she said and took off.
I followed after but there was more water than trail so gave up keeping my feet dry. 
Every times I crossed a snow field I was lost and it was bloody frustrating  at last I was back on track the trail now dropped into the forest on a typical trail that i Like
But every few yards was a snow bump, some were low and you could walk over.  Some you had to climb  so it was slow hard work . Then for fun there were the blow downs too. God this was exhausting.  Shame it was too early to put up.my tent. Soon the snow returned  and I struggled to follow the trail.

At last the trail was clear and I came out into sunshine. Sat to my left was Monk and another hiker.
We said our greeting then I carried on but not too far ahead I took a break
Okay back to the trail but where is it . I waited as other hikers appeared and seemed to instantly  know where yo go .Another hiker came past hi snail.  We walked for a while  but I said see you later as I could not keep to her pace.
I then came to more snow fields, I set off across following the numerous foot prints but some of the drops were dam scary so when possible I stopped and put on my micro spikes as they give me more confidence.  I  was crossing these for near two hrs and I was exhausted. Then the footprints went off  in all directions. Where did every one go.  I headed down. 
Big Mistake I was off trail again. It took all my strength to climb back up  potholing   and swearing.
Okay I was back on trail.  But where are all the footprint. ?
The ones I was following were the Aussies, but where was every one else
I must admit of being a little worried about being stuck on the mountain in this snow. I followed the trail  and footprints almost disbelieving in them both until at last I began to drop down . Thank god  phew. 
The trail was now visible to see. At the next large stream I grabbed water , now somewhere for my tent

As I walked into a open area I could see tents god this was my spot that I was shooting for I found a spot not perfect but I’m done. Okay  tent up dinner eaten. Another hard day 

Night all

mileage 12

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