Distance: 16.5 miles
Start: 8 am
Stop: 6:30 pm
Elevation: 5897 ft
Others Here: Coyote, Backtrack
Camp: Tenting Calumet Creek Campsite
After the slog yesterday and with rain expected, I was dreading today. Things turned out quite differently than imagined. It seems like God chose to treat us with one last good day on trail.
The day started cloudy but no rain and typical GDT trail; that is muddy and indistinct trail. Before long we began the many fords of the moose river which provided some variety and a welcome change. Actually, the first ford was Upright Creek. It was the most challenging, though not bad. We forded the Moose 8 times and they got easier as we went upstream. The first ford, which had the most potential to be a challenge was just a walk across.
Sometime before our last ford, we saw Brazil Nut coming toward us southbound. (She is attempting to set a female speed record for the yoyo.) She is doing Robson to Kakwa to Jasper (255 miles) in a single push with no resupply. After hugging it out, everyone plopped on the ground to hear how she has fared. She had a desperate look about her and has obviously lost weight. She told us she was starving, so for the next ten minutes we shoved food at her. Many bars, two dinners, granola, cheese, etc… She tore into the first peanut butter packet like a wild animal and didn’t stop eating until 3/4 of the snacks and bars were gone. Brazil Nut had a very negative experience on the Loren Lake alternate with super sketchy scrambling and was almost in tears relating it to us. She called the GDT “the beauty and the beast”. That is a perfect description with which I agree wholeheartedly.
It was so wonderful to see her, share in her amazing experience, and provide some much needed food to carry her to Jasper. We were all fired up after seeing her and I’m sure she was walking on air for a couple miles as well.
From that experience, we went on toward a campground within the tree line before the climb up to Moose Pass. Rain was with us into the campground, where we stopped for a break. The rain tailed off and we pushed on toward the pass.
All the way up to the pass we had cloudy skies but clear weather. As perfect as we could hope for. The mountains peaking out of cloud cover made for a breathtaking climb. Once over the pass it was as if the favor was over and we were returned to the regularly scheduled GDT programming. Light rain all the way down. We hit camp, set up tents, and the real rain began. So thankful that this heavier rain held off until we were set up.
We are positioned only 3 miles from the Smokey River ford so we can hit it early in the morning when the flow will be lowest. The Smokey is the ford to be the most concerned about.