These mountains are wearing me like ice on granite. Another absolutely brutal day today had me feeling a bit less invincible than usual by dinnertime.
Quake, Unload, Honeybuzz and I lost the trail directly out of camp under five feet of continuous snow and spent a frustrating hour downclimbing a series of steep cliffs and waterfalls to reach a canyon bottom, where two thigh-deep creek fords awaited. Then we climbed a pass, where the trail disappeared again under snow, and then again we dropped straight down into a steep-sided gorge. Traversing down upper Kerrick Canyon, it took an hour to inch just half a mile across incredibly steep, icy snow slopes which ran straight into a raging river below.
By the time we found exposed trail it was climbing a steep ridge, and the descent down the back side was so rough I ripped a 2-inch hole in the mesh of my shoe. At that point we hit Stubblefield Canyon to discover a river eight feet deep and running fast blocking the trail. Ain’t gonna get across that today, so we camped after a tough 14 miles, hoping the water drops by morning.
This sounds like the toughest day, yet, Noah. Descending steep slopes with a pack on and then traversing the icy slopes with danger below! I like your image of the “mountains wearing you like ice on granite.” Tells the story. Its quite the snow year. Here in Oregon, the Forest Service is estimating the snow melt to be 3-5 weeks behind average at 5-6000 ft. Hang in there, you are doing amazing!
Eat more cookies!
Holy Cow! What an adventure indeed!… all of us in cyber-land are cheering you on! Stay safe and good luck! JBB