Sunday, August 18, 2013
Day 63 - Cirque!
On the plus side, the Winds continue to be spectacular. We saw the Cirque of the Towers today, a jagged set of peaks which are one of the highlights of the trail. After the Cirque, we climbed past a beautiful set of glacial lakes tucked high in the peaks, culminating with a steep and difficult climb up Temple Pass at 11,500'. I was a little woozy on the climb, which was one of those steep rock scrambles where you don't look back for fear of vertigo. As I was a painstakingly climbing over boulders and sliding on rocks, a few hundred feet from the top, I saw two guys casually strolling down...a trail. D'oh. They told me I was on a Class III rock scramble, and that I still had a ways to go. I decided to cut my losses and walk the normal way up the trail. You win some, you lose some.
After yesterday's oddly people-free day, we started to see people again. The zombie apocalypse I feared has not come to pass. Yet. We did run into Blue Foot, who's got some crazy admirable adventure through the Cirque planned. And it was so nice to see John and Regina again. I was hoping we'd see them one more time before they exit at South Pass, and head to work at Yellowstone for the season.
The moon is waxing, and it is surprisingly bright. We are camped up on a pine bench above the creek in a canyon between two imposing ridges. With a warm dinner and a sleeping bag waiting, it's been a good but tiring day.
p.s., Megafauna sightings of the day, some very fat marmots and pika!
Mileage: ~18mi from Silver Creek to Little Sandy Creek