Day 8 – Friday July 10th, 2015
Miles Hiked: 19.4 Total Miles: 108.2
CT Sections: 6-17.1 > 7-3.8
It rained most of last night which made for a cold night and morning, so we were reluctant to crawl from our sleeping bags and get up early. After we finally decided to get up, we were still cold and put on extra layers that didn’t come off until a few miles down the trail. The first few miles were a gradual decline, followed by a long 1,100 foot ascent with a good view of Georgia Pass from the ridge at the top. My parents were meeting us with a resupply box in the next couple days, so we called when cell reception was available. They were on their way to Ruedi Reservoir for the Aspen Open Regata and we decided to meet in Copper on Sunday evening when they were coming back down.
We thought about stopping for the night near 6,28.8, but had a snack there instead and continued hiking another 8 miles to 7,3.8. The majority of the first 8 miles of section 7 are steep and uphill. By hiking 3.8 miles today we were able to break up the 3,674 foot ascent to a 12,495 foot saddle between peaks 5 and 6 of the Tenmile Range.
On the trail, we met one older thru hiker named Stan, a middle-aged couple named “Mothership” and Ray, a lot of bikers, and two tall thru hikers with extremely light packs that were at least doubling our pace. We had trouble finding a campsite near the trail, so we crossed over a small creek and found a flat spot big enough for our tent. Most of the trees here were dead or dying because of pine beetles. Additionally, many dead trees have been cut down and broken into smaller sections so many areas that were probably once good campsites are covered in tree debris. I was a little concerned about dead trees near our campsite since these are much more susceptible to blowing or falling over. These dead trees are commonly known as “widow-makers” due to the danger they pose. The weather today was sunny and warm and we only got a light rain after we setup our tent. With the long miles behind us were tired and it was easy to fall asleep.