Saturday, June 21, 2014
Day 12: High Camp to Stream Near Lake Ann Pass
We woke to a miracle: dry shoes! Atlas reached our camp just as we were packing up our tent, and the three of us hiked on together. We crunched over an icy snowfield on our climb up the ridge, hiking around a steep, corniced snowfield on top.
The trail soon dipped back into the trees, passing through a beautiful aspen forest next to a creek hosting multiple beaver dams. Sheltered from the wind, swarms of mosquitoes converged in an angry flash mob whenever we stopped.
Spring runoff poured down the rocky trail, forming a seasonal creek and leaving many sections of trail a muddy mess. The drying mud was perfect for preserving tracks. We spotted the tracks of Viking, a CDT hiker about a half day ahead of us, and numerous animals, including a bear.
We crossed multiple larger creeks. Atlas generally plunged in and crossed quickly, while Sierra and I usually looked for alternatives to preserve our dryish shoes. We used our poles to vault one creek, precariously balanced on thin, wet, slippery logs, and hopped across others on wet rocks. Sierra even waded one creek barefoot, carrying her dry shoes.
Nearing Texas Creek, we met two trail workers removing Colorado Trail and CDT emblems from signs. They will be removing the sign indicating that the new trail is unfinished tomorrow, opening it to hikers. We just missed it by two days! Hiking next to Texas Creek in a cloud of dust and ATV exhaust, we agreed that relocating the trail from a popular, narrow ATV route to single track would be a positive move.
Climbing from Texas Creek, we passed through beautiful aspen forest and into pine forest and alpine meadows. Two red columbine flowers brightened our trail, the first of the season. We stopped next to a small creek, ready to tackle Lake Ann Pass in the morning.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 8:30 PM