A surely stunning, mostly immensely satisfying day of slack packing made possible by Bird Dawg’s generous gift of his car, while he was working.
We started early today, after dropping BD off at 6:30 am. We had until 4:40 to make the miles, so there was no fooling around. Our benefactor asked to be retrieved at 5 PM.
It’s easy to hike fast with nothing on your back. Train volunteered to carry my water bottle and snacks for the day. The guy is a mountaineering saint.
The first part was dealing with relatively flat gravel roads around the old 10th Mountain Division training area. Then we went up, some 2,500 feet of elevation, all the way to 12,200′ to Kokomo Pass, where the trail stayed smack dab high the whole three miles to Searle Pass, where the long descent to the base of the Copper Mountain ski area began.
I hiked north with Train all day, with Lee and Louis walking the same section from Copper Mountain south.
The hiking went really well. Train and I were able to ascend 1,200 feet, of course without real loads in a pack, in a 45 minute period.
My friend Ben asked me how my respiration was at 12,000 feet. It was surprisingly normal. There have been days when I had to gulp air up that high, with little steps on the uphills. But not today, when I’ve eaten plenty, and hydrated well, correcting my mistakes in those areas from yesterday. I was able to fly along today. Maybe the little bottle of Five Hour Energy helped?
There was snow up high, but it was not a significant impediment. The trail was easy to follow, even dealing with snow fields.
I had one fall today, on a greasy little section of ledge. Results were a cut palm. Not bad. I fell right on my left side, and my whole back and left thigh and ass were coated in mud, which thankfully dried quickly on there synthetic fabrics I am wearing.
I loved hiking today.
It is finally a pure big world of joy up on the ridge in the sky today.
Follow the adventure via
My Trailjournal site http://www.trailjournals.com/tjamrogCDT/