Started: 10:30 @ MM 790.0 Camp below Glenn Pass (Elevation 11,094ft)
Finished: 15:00 @ MM 799.8 Woods Creek (Elevation 8,532ft)
Elevation Gain/Loss: +1,091/-3,653ft
Food: Oatmeal, Cliff Bar, Snickers, Tortilla w/cheese and salami, Trail Mix, Sweet & Sour Chicken w/Rice
Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 2, Days since laundry 2
I woke up hungry, this was a good sign. I ate oatmeal, drank coffee and the events of yesterday started to feel like a bad dream … I was back in the game!
Glenn Pass was just over a mile away but with 1,000ft of gain and snow fields to navigate, it certainly wasn’t going to be a stroll in the park. Just as we were about to set off an unlikely union of hikers, 2Bar and MP3, wandered by. They towed along as we made our way up into the ice and snow. The final ascent of Glenn was steep and a little sketchy but I made it up without incident. Things weren’t going quite as smoothly for 2Bar who seemed to be struggling in a pair or unwieldy full mountaineering crampons. Butterfly and Spreadsheet very magnanimously stayed back to help her. Turbo and I waited patiently at the top of the pass.When we finally started heading down it was across a precariously steep traverse and then snow, that was fast becoming soft, slushy and a real pain in the arse to navigate our way through. We lost the trail several times and it seemed to take forever to get down below the snow line. At long last we reached Rae Lakes and things became easier. We planned to press on, tackling the first 1,000ft of the next pass … Pinchot!However, the weather was starting to close in. There were snow flurries and distance rumbles of thunder. We hurried lower and stopped at Woods Creek to have dinner before pushing on for the last 3 miles. As we ate, a Forest Ranger appeared from nowhere. He was a complete bundle of joy … First he warned us about how active bears were in this area, then he delivered a wonderful weather forecast which included a winter storm warning, thunderstorms and 8-12″ snow accumulations above 10,000ft … Great!Bears, thunder, lightening, a snow storm and I’m at least a 2 day walk from any form of civilisation! I started to question my own sanity. We took a democratic vote on what to do next and it was decided that we should stay put at this elevation rather than press on to anywhere above 10,000ft. As I retired to my tent the rumbles of thunder began again and soon my world was being illuminated by flashes of lightening. I double checked my bear can was securely sealed and ALL scented items were safely stowed away. It was going to be a long night and my one hope was that the bears thought like I did … If I was a bear I would definitely be staying home tonight!