GDT kms: 13.8
Daily kms: ~30
Today we set out nice and early to conquer the pass and ridgewalk we weren’t able to do yesterday due to the wind. On our way up the pass, we encountered our first other GDT hiker, Rob! We wound up leapfrogging with him throughout the day which was nice.
When we reached the pass before the ridge, we were happy to find there was barely a light breeze. It was a stark contrast to yesterday when we were getting blown down in close to, if not over, 100 km/hour winds. We weren’t quite prepared for the level of exposure of the trail that connected from the pass to Avion Ridge. The path traversed a loose scree slope at an alarming angle. I’m normally pretty good with heights, but I had to force myself to not look off the trail at all as looking down made me light-headed and dizzy. Kyle was having the same issues, but we didn’t have much of a choice but to keep advancing.
Making slow, but consistent progress we were able to reach the actual start of Avion Ridge which had more solid footing. We were finally able to both take a breath and take in the amazing views all around us.
After the ridge, we descended a bit before joining the official GDT and going up and over Sage Pass. It was surreal walking through this area as it was burnt in last year’s fires and had a very post-apocolyptic wasteland feel to it.
One of the coolest parts of the day was walking through a mini-canyon type area that had strong Star Trek vibes – they should film along the GDT 😋
Our day ended at the last water and campsite before La Coulette Ridge which we will be doing tomorrow – this is supposed to be one of the most challenging parts of the GDT, so maybe we’ll end up 4 for 4 of the most challenging hiking days of our lives.