Safely in Stehekin

Firstly, I just skimmed through some of the comments that have been coming through the last couple of days regarding my and UB’s whereabouts on trail. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers; they may well have delivered us to Stehekin safely today.

There is obviously a lot to update you on, but for now I just wanted to let you all know that we made it here safely today on the 3pm bus from the ranger station at High Bridge.

The last 12 hours have been an ordeal to say the least. We woke this morning at 4:30am, packed up our wet sleeping bags, clothes and tents, and knew we were at the point of no return. We had to make it 22.5 miles to High Bridge over a 6000 foot pass. It had poured with rain all night so we knew what that meant 1000 feet above where we slept at Miner’s Creek… SNOW, and lots of it.

Many hikers had already turned back during this section, and we knew once we passed Fire Creek Pass we had no choice but to continue forward. The last few days proved what an incredible team UB and I are. We planned strategically to spread out our days to sleep low, conserve our food and dry clothes, and to get close enough last night to make one final push out of there. Yesterday we had to wear sopping wet clothes for 14 miles at low elevation to ensure we could survive one more night and the final climb over 6000 feet.

We don’t know of anyone who has made it through behind us and we’re very worried for a brother and sister hiking pair who passed us but are currently unaccounted for. I’m still shaking as I sit here writing this, knowing just how bitterly cold it was out there in the mountains when all our clothes were wet. I think I was close to hypothermic two days ago; today I was worried about UB when his hands were so cold I had to feed him lunch during one of our three 5 minute breaks for the entire day. We made it to High Bridge on a packet of jelly beans, a protein bar, snickers bar, cliff bar and one peanut butter and jelly tortilla.

There is one computer in Stehekin and no wifi so I will fill in the blanks of the last section in due course. For now I simply wanted to let you know we’re safe and well. We will spend tonight and tomorrow regrouping mentally and physically, assess the weather and our gear, and make an educated decision regarding the final section of the hike. Some hikers are pushing on, many are calling it quits. UB and I will make our decision based on the weather forecast, our gear and our skill level. I’m beginning to realise just how close we balanced on the fine line between life and death during this last section; and I don’t want to put UB and I at risk to cross the finish line.

Tomorrow we will know more. Keep an eye on SPOT on my ‘Where am I’ page, as I’m not sure I’ll have a chance to use this computer again while I’m here.

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers… let’s hope for some clear days ahead.

Muk