North Fork (1075) to Warden Gulch (1098.3)
I’m about half way through my hike. Time wise, not distance wise. I estimate I have another 77 days to go. Let’s see if I’m right.
I slept well and my body felt great when I hit the trail. The slight pain I felt yesterday on my left heal is barely noticeable today. I took some vitamin I (ibuprofen) as a precaution.
It wasn’t long before I was up above the tree line. The views were extensive. To the east were the foothills and plains of Colorado. To the north were the 14000ft plus mountains. To the west were the ski slopes of Breckenridge.
Climbing to 13000ft I walked past a group of mountain goats. They were curious and in no hurry to move off the trail. Several approached me very close. I pushed my trekking pole in front of me to act as a buffer.
I climbed a total of three mountains over 13000ft. My energy felt great and my breathing was normal for that altitude. Today I realised just how much energy the Giardia had sapped from me. I’m back to normal.
The views today were possibly the best of the whole trail to date. Following the ridges that formed the continental divide.
Rain threatened. The clouds got darker. I continued over the last 13000ft mountain as the weather turned. Within minutes the temperature dropped to below freezing. I was cold. I stopped to put on layers just as it started to snow.
The rapid onset of the cold killed my phone. I stopped to get out my battery charger while a assessed my options. It looked like the weather was going to settle in for a while. I wanted to stay up high on the ridge and camp but it wasn’t the safest option. I bailed off the high mountains. Just as I descended another hiker caught up to me. It was Lucky, one of the warrior hikers. I hadn’t seen him in two months. It was great to catch up.
We descended a sketchy cliff in the rain. I traverses across a steep snow patch without my ice and snow gear. Using my trekking pole as an ice axe I slipped. I had hold of my trekking pole which stopped my fall. I heard a snap. My pole was broken but I was still holding onto it. I was safe.
The rain increased. It was getting dark. Time to find a campsite and the quicker the better. A nice place presented itself and we raced to make camp. It was 8pm. It was a big day.