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Day 72 – Goat Rocks

I slept in. Well, I woke up at 5:30 but looked at the tent ceiling listening to the gentle hum of the mosquitos for an hour before getting on the trail a little after 7. The ample rest worked wonders and I felt great, moving down a gentle incline for a few miles, towards the legendary Goat Rocks Wilderness. Despite the heavy climbing of the day and areas of incredibly dense mosquitos, my spirits were high. Finally, after the Walupt Lake junction, the true beauty began. Snow began appearing and was especially thick around Cispus Pass. There were only the faintest of tracks. It looks like very few people have been through. Heavily snowed in, with a giant cornice, it wasn’t easy, but manageable after cutting steps into the steep 20 foot snow wall to clamber over the top. Then the coolest thing happen. Two fighter jets roared down the valley and barrel rolled over the far side above the ridge-line. I waved and smiled but I’m sure they didn’t see. After the excitement, a circuitous route to Old Snowy and the Knife’s edge began. It’s one of my favorite parts of the trail, so I was excited! As I neared Old Snowy and the trail climbed over 7,000’ the snow littered the ground and the clouds moved in. Visibility was 20 feet and while crossing the large snow fields I had to strain my eyes to differentiate snow from clouds. The visibility was even worse on the knife edge. I am glad I have done it before because the views I was missing are amazing. Even so, it was cool to feel like I was in the clouds. I dropped down to camp and it ended up raining all night.

Miles 38

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