Monday, June 22, 2015

Day 56: The Knifes Edge

6/16: mile 894.4-905.5
Miles: 11.1 (although again we were on trail almost none of the day, pedometer think 15+)
Total trip miles: 756.8

At 1 am the skies were clear and the stars were everywhere. By 2 I was being woken up by rain. I tightened down the tent and soon enough a massive thunderstorm was rolling through. Loud thunder and super bright lightning with pouring rain and hail. I did fall back asleep but every time I woke up it was still going. At 6:30 it wasn't raining or hailing anymore but we were in a giant cloud. No visibility at all. We didn't leave until almost 9 and it was vaguely clear. 

We started off the day postholing. I found water by sinking straight into it. Cold foot but glad to find water. There's snow everywhere but not always actual running water. 

It stayed dark, hailing a bit but nothing too bad. We kept at it, even getting some great trail along the divide. We dropped down to a spring and tried to make a little shelter. It was cold and it felt like 2 giant thunderstorms were closing in on us from different directions. 

We finally gave up the waiting game. Clearer skies seemed to be happening so we headed out. We were less than 2 miles from the knifes edge. Something we've been hearing about for ages, apparently it's a 1/4 long shelf built into a she cliff. Sounds super fun and safe in s high snow year right? 

Our maps have comments from their creator so I'm going to blame Jonathan Ley for our adventure, although it was pretty awesome. 

We climbed up to the divide, leaving the trail. The difficult looking notch mentioned on the map turned out to be one of the scariest things we did this whole section. It was great fun and we had amazing views. Just know you might end up rock scrambling a bit and you probably shouldn't be afraid of heights. 

What the heck did we just do??

Looking down at the knifes edge, I like our route way better 

Crossing over the knifes edge from the divide was completely uneventful and not scary at all. Good footing and more great views. 

Always more snow to climb

Then back down, hiding in the bushes from more storms. One more big climb and a small cornice type thing to get over followed by skins of the worst postholing so far. Falling straight in above the waist into soft snow, just awful. I actually got stuck and Nightcrawler had to help dig my foot out. Not fun. 

Again it was getting late and we finally decided to just call it quits camping above 12000 ft on a ridiculously rocky slope. We managed to get the tents up but I'm currently trying to sleep using my food bag to physically prop me up. Should be an interesting night. 

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