4 October 2013:
We hit the trail again this morning while it was still dark, and experienced the true beauty of winter as the icy grasses glittered in our headlamps and the sun slowly crept up, shining a radiant red glow on the mountains surrounding us.
As we headed up our first climb we came across three tents, and when we said hello, a voice came out from one asking ‘is that Muk Muk?’ It was Bad Seed! She was travelling with Cherub from South Africa, El Jefe and Puppy. I was so excited to see her in a better tent and with a strong group of hikers. I honestly see her like a little sister, even though she towers above me!
We had blue bird skies once again, but today the snow was a lot slushier, and much harder to hike through. The first ridge climb up the switchbacks was pretty sketchy, with a narrow path cut through the snow and a sheer drop down hundreds of feet. I didn’t even dare to get my camera out at that point, that’s how dicey it felt!
We only had 15 miles to travel to Harts Pass, but the hours kept ticking over, and at times it felt we were moving like snails. The scenery again was mind blowing, but the slushy conditions begun to take their toll, and by the end of the day my poor ankles were so sore I was reduced to no more than a 2 mile per hour hobble.
We arrived at Harts Pass around 5pm and UB made the call to stop while the others continued on. We had a wet sleeping bag and tent to dry out, and some angels had left some dry fire wood and gallons of water in the toilet block. For a cold concrete floor with wafting bathroom smells and mice, it was a relatively comfortable place to spend our final night together.