After spending three two zero days in Fraser with Cindy and our friends Nancy and Sandy, I was back on the trail for three days and 56 miles. The highlight was the climb to James Peak and a scenic ridge-top descent to Rollins Pass.
It was at Rollins where I hiked in 1999 and concluded I would thru-hike the CDT someday, instead of section-hiking over several years. In this high elevation it takes so long to acclimate to the 12000 feet of elevation, and I never got into a good groove in two weeks along the high divide.
But even on this thru-hike I am finding the terrain and elevation has taken it’s toll on me. The climbs on steep uphill pitches is very hard on my 62 year-old legs and lungs!
This Marmot welcomed me to James Peak!
I descended James Peak and was lucky to find a spring that kept me well watered into the next day. I made a dry camp on (appropriately) Rogers Pass, a very windy place on that day. I started using my ultra-light Six Moon Skyscape tent again, and had no trouble setting it up securely on the windy slope!
I had another date with my lovely wife Cindy once I reached Grand Lake. I hiked 21 miles along Monarch and Granby lakes along the way. About three miles before Grand Lake I saw Cindy, Nancy and Sandy coming up the trail to meet me! It was a welcome site after the 56 miles of trail that also featured 10,700 feet of ascents in just three days!
Above: after reaching the trailhead in Grand Lake Cindy and I walked together through town, slackpack style, which is part of the official route.