We were rested after our dark subsurface sleep… kind of. Nemo had been attacked by biting noseeums during the night and was feeling a bit itchy.
We packed and chatted with the trail crew before starting our descent from Confederation hut. Several thousand feet down. And we were feeling pretty good about it all. Our legs felt surprisingly refreshed after yesterday’s punishing miles.
We took a break at the bottom and tanked up on some water for the next long climb up to Tin Hat Hut.
The first half of the climb was pretty smooth. At least from our energy levels. We lunched right in the middle of trail, spreading our tyvek on the ground and lounged around eating olives, hummus and cheese and crackers.
The second half was harder. Up and up. Unrelentlingly up.
Sweat was poring, we were cursing, knees were threatening to blow out and when we finally made it to Tin Hat Hut and saw we had just climbed 3,665’ in 4.2 miles, we felt justified in our groans.
Break time was a delirious whirl of snacks and hobbling up and down the shelter steps. People tell us this hut has an amazing view, but we couldn’t see anything for the thick smoke. Disappointing.
We looked at the miles and data book for the next section and it appeared in just 3 miles we would make it down to our next campsite at Lewis Lake. We started down, it was steep! The climbs are brutally steep to the point where you question your thigh’s ability to power you up one more step, and the descents are so steeps you think your knees will blow.
After an hour we were still high up on the mountain and we started to suspect the miles were off. We started to wonder about an offhand comment Eagle made about the mileage (really Kilometers here in Canada) being off on the way down, and we wished we had asked him more. After an hour and a half of walking we come to the first marker. NO Way have we just spent that amount of time walking 1.5 km. Our normal pace is 4-5km an hour. Booooo!
So now we started questioning everything. How long would it be to camp? We didn’t know. Were there other sneaker extra miles coming up? We didn’t know. Would we still finish when we wanted? We didn’t know.
The last miles were slow, and we finally made it into camp, exhausted. We thought it would be a shorter day, it was not.
Our camp had a nice little picnic bench where we relaxed for a while after our swim.