I really wanted to get up early but it was too bloody cold.
But at 6 am I pulled the plug on my mattress; I was packed rather quickly bonus point,
I woofed two packets of instant oats and drained a mug of hot chocolate.
I was on trail by 6.30, good effort snail
I knew I had a climb first thing and oh what a climb I chugged up at my amazing sloth (snail) like speed It was almost two hrs until I reached the top and was able to get my breath back.
Once up I took off a layer before spraying myself with sunscreen.
Okay lets go, I knew it was going to be a climbing day after sneaking a peek at the Profile.
(Don’t do this as its just depressing ……)
So, I knew it would not be long until my next one such fun. I don’t know why but I am having to keep taking breaks as my lungs just can’t cope with these altitudes and so I am loosing valuable time and miles.
I slowly chugged up mountain number two and yet again such amazing views, but it was a false summit so I had to keep on climbing, luckily the next part was not too steep.
Once at the top I could see several roads in the distance, wow its obvious that we are not going that way as it would be far too simple lol.
I began to head down crossing several snow chutes… mmm haven’t done any of these for a few days.
when I reached the ground I could see that I was at a trail head with a board and sign in register. I signed my name then continued on and great, two wide creeks that i need to cross, so wet feet time followed by yet another steep climb out of the valley
This was a bit crappy as it was loose dirt shale, so not brilliant to climb on, eventually it evened out and a trail reappeared but vanished high into the mountains.
As I continued on, I could see a lodge or yurt to my left, I believe you can stay here but as it was a fair way off, I didn’t visit but just kept on climbing.
As I reached the summit there was the obligatory signpost except this one was different as this is where the CDT and the Colorado trail now share the same space. I pushed on and was surprised to be encountering more and more snow, nothing really to bother about more of an annoyance as if you walked around rather than over the mud was so slippery that it wanted to through you to the floor or worse it wanted one of your shoes.
I began to cross through several meadows, again with great views, before climbing through a very rocky section that resembled the moon.
okay break time, I stopped glugged some water and scoffed a Mars bar.
Okay the next part should be flat so I should be able to make up some time, except where there was once snow there was now mud It didn’t look like mud until you tried walking through it and it was a trap.
I tried walking around but every now and then I would sink…. At last, this ended and I was on solid ground* and able to make good progress, climbing a little then climbing some more, the landscape was forever changing ,there were wild flowers all around as I began to drop into a valley
As I made my way up a snow filled pass, I spotted another hiker in the distance as I hadn’t seen anyone for several days it was good to be able to say hi. He was a day hiker but still good to have the conversation.
In the distance were 3 large hills and I guessed which one I was going up and I was right it was the steepest and highest . Thankfully there were on switchbacks so not that steep, although they still took some effort to climb.
At last I was up but this connected with another , so I had to walk around its edge although I like this type of trail and eventually I was at the top and level .
I decided at the next water I would stop for lunch.. I dropped my pack laid out my ground sheet, got out my food bag then went to get water from the run off… The water wasn’t good as it looked almost grey as it contained sediment.
I tried nearer to the ice, but it was the same bugger oh well I have enough.
I sat down took off my shoes and sock and relaxed but i was anxious and need those miles. so was soon walking again ,as I crossed over another saddle I could see a dirt road snaking away and up in both directions
The nearer I got I could see ATV or quad bikes moving upwards, by the time I had arrived they were long gone.
The Trail now follows this road for about a mile, as i passed another stream I grabbed a bottle as the water was clear here. I had just hoisted my pack when the train of ATVs came back, the occupants all waved but no soda or beer lol.
I walked down the road before turning left and climbing as I did, I noticed two hikers in the distance. I pushed on climbing then dropping down but still appearing to climb.
Eventually the two hikers caught me. We joked a bout the amount of climbing that we had done today and hoped there would be no more haha
I let them go and followed after. Omg I watched them climb and climb, I followed more slowly this first climb had switch backs but was still high.
The climbing went on for the rest of the day but at least there were no scratchy bushes today how amazing is that… Oh the day hiker I met called it Willow !!
I was now tiring, although wished I could hike faster. I was also concerned that looking forward there didn’t appear to be any suitable camp spots. This may be a compromise Snailtrainer.
I put my tent behind my favourite bushes and crossed my Fingers
I cooked Chili pasta mac with meat (mountain house) my Fav
Then an early night
Mileage 17 Pleased with that,
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