GDT kms: 22.4
We woke up to a cold morning. I knew it was cold last night because at some point I pulled buff on over my face because my nose was cold, but I didn’t realize exactly how cold it was until Kyle went to put his pants on and they were frozen stiff from the knee down. Worst of all, our shoes were also frozen. I didn’t realize that frozen shoes doesn’t just mean you need to put your feet into a cold shoe, it also means you can’t actually put your shoes on because the sides are stiff and the laces are frozen in whatever position you left them. You need to slowly work the laces looser, eyelet by eyelet, until you have enough slack to put them on. Then you get to put your feet into the cold shoes which immediately begin to defrost due to your body heat and get your feet wet.
We were both bundled up in our puffy jackets and hats, and we tried to get on our way quickly to warm ourselves up.
After not too long, we found that our trail ended and we simply had to follow Cataract Creek up towards the pass, often walking directly in the creek as that seemed to be the easiest route. Eventually we turned off the creek and the trail picked up again for the final ascent up Cataract Pass.
The views on both sides on the pass were beautiful and were very rewarding after the tough day yesterday.
Part way down the pass, we got to have a bit of fun climbing around rocky boulders to avoid dipping our feet in the Brazeau River. Not too long after this, we were on excellent quality trail again and it felt wonderful to be able to finally speed along in a way we haven’t been able to since Field.
We reached a campground around 6pm that seemed fairly empty at the time, but several large groups arrived later on – hopefully they aren’t too loud and we can get to sleep on time.