June 11, 2014
18 mile day
818.74 miles total
Arctic woke me up around 5:30, it was part of our plan due to last nights storm. I tried my best to get up and moving, but my sleeping bag was way to comfortable. I decided to eat my breakfast in my bag. I made instant breakfast and grabbed some breakfast biscuits to dip in peanut butter. After a few bites, I heard a horrible noise. It seems as though I cracked a tooth. (It was a matter of time for this to happen according to my dentist.) So that wasn’t the best start to the day… But oh well.
We were on trail by 6:40, the morning was a bit chilly but it made for perfect hiking. We made decent time post holing on the bottom of the pass. Eventually we hit Pinchot pass a little after 9:30. It was beautiful up there so we decided to take a break.
After second breakfast we pushed on down the other side of the pass. It was nice gentle hiking. We passed a lot of streams and crystal clear lakes. This sure is a magical part of the world.
Once again the clouds rolled in. This time they weren’t too menacing. They did drop a bit of rain, but it was nice. We planned to push on over Mather Pass, in the late afternoon. We had heard the south side (or where we were coming from) wasn’t bad, but the north side was hard navigating. We are trying to get ourselves situated so tomorrow we can get to the base of the next big pass.
After making sure it wasn’t going to storm we set off for the 12,000′ pass. It was pretty, and the hiking wasn’t too steep. We hit the top at 5pm. We grabbed a snack and started down.
It was as gross as everyone had said. Plus late in the day the snow was really soft. We did our best navigating the long paths of sketchy snow, lots of loose rocks, and finding the trail. I even tried my hand at glassading (butt sliding with an ice ax to slow you) it was terrifyingly fun. Thankfully we both made it down safely. Just a few minor abrasions each. I am glad we did it tonight as crossing it first thing would have been a death ice nightmare.
Tonight I am curled up in my tent listening to water cascade down the mountain side. Life sure is beautiful.