Sunday, July 5, 2015

Day 59: Stony Pass (take 2)

6/19: mile 934.6-About 4 miles down county rd 3 (but to make it official CDT mile 948.8)
Miles: 14.2
Total CDT miles: 800.1

We started things of with an icy creek crossing, just above the knees of course. Flooding the waterproof socks and ensuring wet feet all day. Oh well they were still wet from yesterday anyhow. Then patchy snow and blowdowns, snowshoes for the snow fields up to the pass. Your typical morning out here so far for sure.

Then down towards Nebo Creek. We crossed over to the dry side partway down and started the next climb up to Hunchback Pass. We made it pretty far before strapping on the snowshoes. It was a great climb, complete with baby elk.

Blurry but you get the idea

Lunch at the top and then down again more postholing and a long traverse we decided to make our way around. Cross country, a little glissade and then we made it to a trailhead complete with a register, that no one had signed. But it was gorgeous and a bit more down before heading right back up towards the Colorado Trail.

We were hoping for nice clear trail once we joined the CT but it wasn't to be. Up and over and snow as far as we could see, at least the direction we were heading.

It was over 2.5 miles of solid snow. I was starting to go nuts. It would be pretty good solid stuff and then wallowing waist deep through flat sections. Basically some real tiring terrain.

We took the snowshoes off just to avoid going insane and did our best to avoid the deeper snow, heading up to the divide ignoring the trail. Less than 3 miles to Stony Pass and our hitch to town!

Cliffs of course, but a quick glissade fixed our problems and then onto the last climb. Slow and steady, beautiful and full of wildflowers. We topped out and headed the last bit through patchy snow.

We made it to the pass before 8, not a great time to hitch on a lonely gravel road.

We'd hoped for cell service to try up get a ride but no luck. We ate dinner and decided to head a ways down the road. About 10 miles to Silverton we hoped someone would feel sorry for us and take us part way.

What a steep, steep road. We made it maybe 4 miles before giving up and sleeping on the side of the road. Cowboy camping for the first time in ages, I can't wait for a shower and food!

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