It took 12 hours to cover 20 very strenuous miles today, pushing hard all day without many breaks. I hiked with Honeybuzz, Quake, and Unload as we bullied our way through miles of continuous snow (often bushwhacking and navigating by GPS when we lost the trail), clouds of mosquitoes, 3,500 feet of elevation gain, and several thigh-deep stream crossings.
I have a heavy pack on this stretch (35-40 lbs) but am happy to be carrying enough food. Last week I rationed hard during the most intense section of high passes before resupplying at Vermilion Valley, and lost enough weight to contemplate weaving a belt out of dental floss. (I haven’t stepped on a scale since beginning this adventure). So I’m on a mission now to eat 5,000-6,000 calories a day to keep from shriveling up out here; can’t afford to get any skinnier.