Mileage: 13 km
We woke from our site at Dutch Creek feeling pretty awake and in good spirits. We had some inefficiencies and confusion when breaking camp but we got over those and were ready to start our day at around 8am or so (I didn’t actually check!)
The hike away from camp was quickly interrupted by a small creek crossing that got Natasha’s feet wet then a brushy walk that got my feet wet. Well, so much for dry feet. [Foreshadowing]
The trail / road had an okay grade. We made decent time and Toothless quickly fell asleep. Then we crossed Dutch Creek. Then again. Then again.
GDT Joke: oh you didn’t enjoy that last river you had to cross? Don’t worry; you can re-evaluate your opinion the next time you cross it.
After a bit of that we reached the avalanche debris. In 2018 this resulted in a total reroute from the east side of Tornado Saddle. So we never got to stay at Dutch Creek or hike this approach.
Well, the debris sucks. Natasha quickly bombed right up the hill rather than try to keep to the GPS track. We climbed the steep hill quickly. Her with Toothless napping with his hood up and me holding my coffee in one hand (in a water bottle) and two trekking poles in the other. We quickly got to the top and stopped climbing roughly at the same elevation as the pass.
Then we hiked along the contour and found an established trail which we followed… a little too far. We started climbing a little too high up the shoulder and started going towards the BC side so we took a sharp right and did a straightforward bushwack down the shoulder towards the trail and pass. This was maybe a couple hundred meters.
We later learned we lost a diaper here. It was drying on Natasha’s bag and when bushwacking I don’t hike behind her so I didn’t see it snag and fall. Sigh. This sucks for a lot of reasons but at least it’s natural fibers and we have enough diapers for Toothless.
Toothless woke once we got to the pass. He slept through the bushwack.
The pass is easy and trail simple.
We approached the saddle at about 10:30am and changed Toothless’s diaper. Then started climbing.
It’s a long approach and once you hit the scree it can be slow going. We took our time and picked good lines. Toothless was happy the whole way and we felt in control.
We got to the top at around noon and met two other GDT hikers we have been leapfrogging. They were having coffee. They like having coffee at the tops of mountains.
After signing the logbook we pushed down quite quickly, following those orange blazed cairns, and did another diaper change at the bottom.
After burying Toothless’s business, we spent the rest of the afternoon hiking through well blazed and generally good quality trail until 2:00pm when we had a late lunch at South Hidden Creek camp. Toothless crawled around, climbed a tree stump and generally had a good time exploring.
We had a couple more hours left in us so we pushed to the next site (Hidden Creek) before 5:00pm and set up camp. This was much larger and also has plentiful water. We used the structures to hang our diapers to dry, made dinner, put Toothless to bed, repaired my socks and shoes and hopefully we will get a good sleep.