Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 182: Stehekin --> Cutthroat Pass

Wednesday 10/17/12
Miles 2580-2604.5 (24.5 miles)
Elevation 6,840'

Ok, new day, there is sun, and its time to make a break for it!  Since the bus no longer runs between the Stehekin Lodge and the trailhead, we managed to get a ride with Debra.  She is the housekeeping manager and shes awesome!  She also grew up in Stehekin, and is a 4th or 5th generation Stehekin local.  So she had a weath of information about the town and area.  It was really cool talking to her.  She really helped us out the whole time we were here, and now shes driving us to the trailhead.  Thanks Debra!

Our hopes today was to do a 30 mile day.  We figured, take advantage of this good weather while its not raining, and bust as many miles as we possibly can.  We did pretty well, actually.  Its amazing what an early start will do.  We got to the trailhead by about 8:30am and promptly started hiking.

We made some pretty good miles.  We crossed Rainy Pass (highway 20) at about 6pm.  After that, we started to gain quite a bit of elevation.  We also ran into some snow today.  Walking in snow in 5 finger shoes is COLD.  Its hard for toes to keep warm in the 5 finger shoes.  Since the toes are separated it just doesn't collectively get as much heat as in a normal sock and shoe.  At the privies at the trailhead parking, we found a sign left by Typo, ED, Hee Haw, and Scallywag.  They hitched into town.  Oh man, I hope they're ok.  We kept going.  The snow got thicker.  On our way up we ran into Chameleon.  He was on his way down.  Whaaaa?  He was done.  Done with the trail.  He said it was absolutely exhausting breaking trail in knee deep snow, and he just didn't have the correct gear for snow.  That was quite a shock to us.  Chameleon is a local to the area and not new to winter backpacking.  It was definitely a blow to our morale, to see Chameleon looking so beat, and quitting the trail, for now. :(

We decided to get to the top of the mountain where Chameleon said there are flat places to camp, at Cutthroat Pass.  Today was the first time in my life i have ever camped on snow.  Its cold.  So stoked we are using the e-blanket as a drop cloth for inside the tent.  It really helped keep us warm.  Its funny, after months and months of complaining how I don't like this tent, it finally comes in handy.  We were trudging through knee deep snow at some points, to get here.  Bleh.  My poor toes are so frozen.  We figured we'd look at the conditions in the morning and decide what to do from there. 

By the way, note our elevation.  We're almost at 7,000'.  This morning we started at a hair over 1500'.  Yeah, it was quite an uphill battle today. LOL!

the colors of fall are upon us

all that snow up there was not there 2 days ago...

lets go hike!


a fork in the river

snowy peaks and crazy looking clouds

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