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CDT Day 31 Into the cold Mountains 

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18th May

15.2 (24.5km)

Cuba (519.8) to Cold camp (535)

I slept poorly last night. Rain continued for part of the evening and night. The thought of leaving the relative comforts of the hotel in the morning were likely playing on my mind. I knew the snow covered mountains were near.

It was almost 11am when we started hiking out of town. The sky was overcast. It was yet to make up its mind if it would rain or just stay gray for the day.

The roadwalk out of town town to a trail after about 8 miles. This also coresponded with a sharp increase in the steepness of the trail. It wasn’t long before patches of snow appeared. In other areas the trail was a stream as the rapidly melting snow made its way off the high ground.

We crossed many patches of snow before we reached the plateau. It must have been yet another flat top Mesa that we were hiking on. It seemed like if we weren’t hiking in snow, we were hiking on a water logged swamp.

We were above 10000 feet and it was cold. A combination of the cold swampy water and the snow numbed my feet. I was unable to feel my toes, or wiggle them. Spontaneous and Crunchmaster were fine, or at least putting on a brave face. I took off my shoes and warmed my toes with my hands. Take me back to the heat of the desert. The days of me being the most comfortable of the three of us with these conditions are gone.

My toes were not warming up anytime soon so we decided to make an early camp. If 6.45pm is considered early. Light snow started to fall. Just enough to be annoying. I jumped into my tent, changed into my sleeping clothes and wiggled into my warm sleeping bag. It didn’t take long for me to warm up.

I had a look at my maps. It seems we were camping at almost the highest spot possible. I was too tired and cold to continue. We were at almost 10500 feet.

I did something that one should not do in bear country. I cooked in my tent. Korean ramen was my dinner. It’s my new favourite meal. Spontaneous has it sent from Korea. It’s very hot and spicy, just what I needed to warm myself up. And it worked. I finally felt warm.

I think I’ve mentioned on many occasions that I live in the tropics because I dislike the cold. I was tested today and realised I’m going to be pushed to my physical and mental limits in coming weeks. This is where the trip really begins for me. Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight, it promises to be very cold, probably the coldest night I have felt since sleeping in the cold of Bryce Canyon in late November, 2014. That night it reached -12C (10F).

the snow started just below 10000 feet
some patches of snow was soft and slow to traverse
Spontanious negotiating the waterlogged swamp
I was very tired when this photo was taken
temps were below freezing so i cooked in the comfort of my sleeping bag

Next – Day 32 Snowy Mountains to the Red Rock Canyons

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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12 thoughts on “CDT Day 31 Into the cold Mountains ”

  1. Oh, man! That sounds so cold. My dad and I are camping/hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest this summer. Hopefully the snow will be gone by July, lol. Stay warm.

    Reply
  2. Wait until the sun comes out and reflects off the snow; then you’ll be happy, happy. Did you see these IG pics from Forester?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BFde1tLlECX/?taken-by=trailpaint

    Next week, a buddy and me are trekking south from Lamarck (Evo) to Kearsarge. 6 passes in the snow – can’t wait.

    Reply
    • Just looked at the photos. Looks gear covered in snow at this time of year. Enjoy the hike, look out for my hiking buddy who is in the area. https://trailwhispering.wordpress.com/pacific-crest-trail/

      Reply

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