5/24/15, Day 30

Hopewell Lake CG to m777.2 – 10568′ 

 Tent – Nights Spent Alone: 7

25.6, 603.8 Trip Miles

Snow showers off and on throughout the day. Wind

Day’s of Snow: 6 – Day’s of Rain: 10

# of Zero days: 1

Gila Crossings Final Total:  221

Critter Count
6 Chipmunk
2 Ground Squirrels
2 Elk
1 squirrels

119 Lizards

48 Elk

23 Chipmunks

22 Cotton Tail Rabbits

18 Squirrels

12 Deer

9 Horny Roads

9 Jack Rabbit

8 Ground Squirrel

5 Snakes

3 Coyotes

2 Toads

1 Mouse

1 Skunk

1 Rattle Snake

What can I say about today. Super tough conditions and weather to go with them. We woke up to snow at 6 am. We would hike in snow and on it sometimes until around lunch. We got a small window of sun and some showers.

CDT Lunch

A cold and snowy lunch break.

That window was the best we would get all day. Others presented themselves but they didn’t last. There was no drying out of our gear. My tent isn’t too bad but my foot box on my sleeping bad is a bit damp.

Muddy Road

Low visibility and muddy tracks.

We had it all today. Snow, rain, running water on the trail, large snow drifts, post holing, nasty slippery mud, wind, and a few rumbles of thunder. All together they made for one brutally long day. We only went below 10k once and topped out at 11k.


Wind blown Cornice. We camped in the trees below to get away from the crazy wind.

I don’t understand how I’m supposed to hike over a week through the San Juan Mountains in conditions like this or worse. I was so ready to be done hiking by 4 pm. Days like today mentally test you. I was looking for the littlest sign the weather was going to improve throughout the day. The smallest sign raised my spirit only to have it crushed minutes later.

Grassy valley

One of the many great valleys during todays hike.

I also think I’m dehydrated still. I piss all the time but I’m not consuming that much water during the day. It’s hard when it’s so cold.

blue sky

Rare view of some blue sky.

I can just hope the weather turns during the night. It’s 16.9 miles to the Cumbres Pass. It would be great if the trail conditions were better but I doubt that is going to happen.

I neglected to mention that not once but twice on this day I lead us the wrong way.  Once was in an open area but some how I read the map wrong.  The other was in the trees/snow.  Neither time cost us much time but it was frustrating when the day was so hard already.

Despite the weather and trail conditions it was beautiful country as most of the trail has been.  I think the cold was the toughest part of the day for me.  My nose never stopped running.  Whenever I wake up cold I usually can look forward to warming up at some point during the day.  When you don’t it’s tough on the mind.

Back to Day 29, Forward to Day 31


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Get out there!

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