GDT Day 17 – Up, down, repeat

Mileage: 19.9km

Today was another relatively big day for us with the hopes the following days would be nice and short and we’d have an easy walk into Peter Lougheed and Boulton Creek.

We started off with our usual slow morning – Jeanette and Lowell were long gone by the time we even poked our heads out of the tent. Once we were on the trail, we started with a moderate climb, there had been some trail maintenance done recently though, so it was fairly easy walking without too many downed trees to navigate.

Once at the top we had a nice ridge to follow for a bit that offered great views of the surrounding area. A quick descent took us back down to Cataract Creek where a new bridge was at the crossing and we stopped for lunch at a nice bench on the other side.

As we were packing up for lunch, a stereotypical thru-hiker-type rolled in to take his lunch break. So we briefly got ahead of him as we climbed into the snowmobile trail area. He quickly overtook us though as he zipped down the trail.

Back down we went and Kyle swapped with me and started carrying Toothless for the last 8km to camp. And then one last climb for the day. The beginning was nice and gradual but the final 500m or so got brutally steep. We managed to catch up to Jeanette and Lowell here!

After a brief view at the top, we started going back down towards where we would camp for the night. As we descended, I decided how we should have done this hike was to hire one of those stereotypical thru-hiker-types to carry Toothless and all his food and gear and maybe their pace would be slowed enough to match with ours. Kyle pointed out it wasn’t too late to do that on future trips and the pace-matching might be even more effective when Toothless weighed more!

We signed our first logbook of the trail at a junction, then hiked the last few hundred metres to our planned camp. Unfortunately, we discovered it was a very busy spot tonight – overnight hikers, section hikers, and our speedy acquaintance. This combined with a distinct lack of flat spots and the Triplex’s large footprint meant that home for the night was a slanty spot on the old road just uphill from the lake.

Our next few days should be nice and relaxed and easy though – hopefully we don’t need to share all the camp spots with this large crew though! I’m looking forward to Fording River Pass tomorrow and staying at Elk Lakes before we head into Peter Lougheed.

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