Oh, you mean it’s not Christmas? It’s not even December? Could have fooled me…
Mileage: 14.6 km
After having a wet day yesterday we were expecting precipitation last night. That’s what the forecast said and it made sense. We were also expecting a cold camp; its right next to a creek and down a gully.
What we didn’t expect was it to snow most of the day.
Last night it was pouring. Hard. We thought it would be more light rain on and off but it was a hard downpour on and off.
I woke early in the morning and noticed the sleeping pad had slid and pushed against the mesh door. I had a vestibule door open for ventilation and now the side of the quilt and sleeping pad had starting to collect a bit of water. Damn. Fixed it but those will be a bit damp.
Then once we woke and started to get ready for the day it started snowing. Lots. And sticking. And we could feel it getting colder.
We changed our routine a bit to maximize warmth and tried to get moving. While packing our ursack my fingers and toes were transitioning from cold to painful to numb. My damp socks from yesterday were not great in the snow when we aren’t moving.
Thankfully Toothless is all dry and bundled up toasty. He was not happy about being bundled up and having wiggle time taken away.
We got hiking and immediately had to cross Cataract Creek three times. My feet were so numb. Walking helped and as we hiked further up the air got warmer. There was more snow but at least it was warmer and the feeling returned to my feet.
We stopped for a break at the base of the pass. It was short but long enough for my feet to get numb again.
We hiked by a group camping at the base of the pass. They gawked at us for a bit before losing interest. We climbed the saddle and the climb up was easy footing and easy navigation.
Near the top of the saddle, as we approached the pass, the snow got deeper and atmosphere thicker. We pushed on and found the pass and route down.
The climb down was slow and steady. The snow made the route slippery here.
Then almost immediately the weather went from snowing to sun with periodic showers.
The whole Cataract Pass and climbs on either side is my favourite part of the GDT. It is a lot of fun and the Jasper side makes me think of Star Trek and Iceland. Add in snow and a whole new layer is there. As we got out of the snow the feel was more like our 2018 thru, which was fun and breathtaking.
The trail here has chunks of good trail with not so great trail every now and then. For the most part it’s kinda cruisey. After reaching the Nigel Pass trail junction the trail gets really good.
The first bridge close to Boulder Creek campground is a treat and surprise after walking through creeks up passes for the past few days.
We reached Four Points Campsite and immediately laid out our gear and diapers to dry. The sun was out and no rain in sight. By dinner time there were no signs of our snow and rain filled day.