Mile 2592 to 2619, 27 miles
- Miles to monument: 30
- Miles to Manning Park, Canada: 39
Cost: Camped at Harts Pass, $4pp ($8 for the site)
Up 5465 feet, down 5434
I was so worried about bears last night! I sleep with my food bag at my head inside my tent and usually I have an opsak (odour proof ziplock) for all my smelly stuff but my 6th one tore just before Stehekin so I ended up throwing it out. As I lay in bed all I could smell strongly was the food I bought from the bakery – muffins, cake and savoury rolls! Everything was wrapped in cling film and I had then put everything into ziplocks but my tent smelt like a bakery!
I woke up at 5:30 needing to go to the toilet, just at the same time it started snowing. I went back to sleep, woke up again at 7 with my tent and the ground covered in snow. “That’s ok, there’s only 2 more nights which means 2 more chances of packing up a wet tent” I told myself. Rainbow walked past as I was packing up, she was 500 feet lower than me and got rain but no snow. We talked about how cold the night had been – the water in my water bottle that was in my vestibule had frozen!
I followed Rainbow’s footsteps through the snow as the trail climbed up to Cutthroat Pass. I had a few minutes at the top with views across the valley, then the cloud set in and I was in a whiteout for the next few miles. I could smell smoke at the top but had no idea if it was from someone’s campfire (banned at the moment) or if there was a bushfire…
I caught up with Rainbow, she had been trying to dry her tent while she ate lunch, the sun wasn’t out but there was a breeze and it was half dry. We walked together and a few hours later the sun did come out so we stopped and pulled everything out to dry.
Our last chance for water before Harts Pass was at Brush creek which would mean a 12.5 mile carry and most of it uphill. I carried 2.5 litres, the half would be used to cook my cous cous and refill my water bottle… My pack still has about 5 days food in it, it’s ridiculous how heavy it is but its full of yummy bakery food and the sweets that my dad sent 🙂
It started raining as the trail climbed up again. I put on my $1 plastic poncho that I bought back at Trout Lake (over my rain jacket and rain skirt) and continued… This cheap poncho has served me well 🙂
We arrived at Harts Pass campground at 7pm in the rain and had grand plans on sleeping in the toilet there (to stay dry and not get our tents wet again!) But when we arrived there were quite a few cars and other campers and only one toilet, as well as a sign on the toilet saying you couldn’t sleep there, you had to pay $8 for a campsite! I knew I only had $20s and Rainbow wasn’t sure what she had, the ranger saw us and came out to reiterate how we had to pay or could keep walking and they thought there was another flat spot a few miles down the track but this would mean walking in the rain and the dark and we were both pretty tired, Rainbow had walked 28.5 miles to get here and me 27. Rainbow thought she might have the right money but her purse was at the bottom of her pack so we agreed to stay and once she had set up she would be able to check.. Luckily she had exactly $8 in change, I owe her a drink at Manning Park!
It was freezing cold, another night for 2 pairs of socks and all my clothes. I cooked garlic cous cous in my tent and advertised to all the bears in the surrounding neighbourhood that there was an amateur hiker here cooking in her tent, come and get all her food – there was no alternative, the rain was pounding down! Hopefully tomorrow night I can stay in a campground with a bear box, I know I’ll sleep much better if my food isn’t by my head!