Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pagosa Springs, CO

Holy crap. That was a lot of snow. Holy CRAP, that was a lot of snow. From 2 to over 32 miles out of Chama I saw maybe 100 yards of trail. Basically, all of Colorado above 10,000 feet is covered in snow right now. Guess how much of the trail is above 10,000 feet in Colorado. So far, every single inch of it. At first, I was thinking how bad it sucked, and how I'd like to take a few days off and see if I could get a bus to go to a friend's wedding in Truckee (yeh, that'd be cool, showing up smelling like hiker with no spare clothes and no place to stay.) But the second half of the 65~ miles wasn't so bad. I've got 116 more coming up and I think they'll be just as bad. It's kind of cool just to be braving the elements, and if I could drag my lazy butt out of bed at the usual time I could do 20 miles a day, which is about what I expected. But the post-holing starts at about 9:30 and doesn't stop till I go to bed, so my shins are covered in scars, I get sunburned in some new place every day, it gets crazy cold when the sun goes behind a cloud, which is very frequently, the battery in the iPod died, etc. OK, enough complaining, because I can't wait to get back out there. I am having fun, it's just really hard. And to be honest, it's not as pretty as the High Sierra. It's all just white or brown. Getting a ride down from Wolf Creek Pass today to Pagosa Springs everything was green and beautiful, and way prettier than what I've been seeing at 11,000 or 12,000. I'll probably stay in town at a hiker's house tonight and head out tomorrow.

So, does that adequately convey the fact that I'm frustrated but still enjoying myself? Good. Because I fell in a partially frozen lake today on the way down to the pass. That sucked, but I still have all my fingers and toes, so it's all good.


  1. Keep going, Garret. It will melt and get easier and you can enjoy the scenery on your way back.

  2. Hello Garret, was wondering how far north you found an ice axe of use on the CDT. Trying to get an idea of when I might send it home. Thanks

  3. I have a hard time distinguishing between ice axe and snow shoes in my memory. Snowshoes I got in Pagoda Springs and sent home in Salida/Monarch Pass. I regret that. The Cochetopa Hills were an anomoly, and I wish I had the shoes after Monarch.

    Ice axe in my case was maybe less useful? I'd guess you'll for sure want it through the San Juans and then maybe again on Massive or Elbert? (I didn't do them Nobody though.) That would mean you'd be sending it home from Leadville or thereabouts.