Daily Log: Day 69

69 2911.7 8/22/2021 rainy, very windy, cold, moderate, over passes rainy, cold and windy. Woke up at my regular time but it was very windy, cold and raining. I thought the weather report said rain was to stop. Well not at Old Man Lake. Finally I got up. Packing up was a difficult exercise especially with cold stiff hands. I ate breakfast at the food prep area – following the National park rules. I was on trail at 7 – yup, real late. Immediately had to climb and climb and climb. As I ascended the weather got worse. It was as if the mountain itself was generating the weather as a microclimate. I was on a narrow trail on the side of a very big mountain. I worried about being blown off. It got colder and colder. And there was rain. It took forever to reach the peak. I knew then that today was going to be a very very long day – probably ending between 4-5 pm. As I descended the weather improved. But I had a second peak to summit. Oh my gawd – it was a ramp trail on the side of a bowl of mountains for over 3 miles. Up and up and up. And with it, as before, the wind gusted, the temperature dropped and it rained. It took over two hours to summit. Then again as before the weather slowly abated as I descended. I crossed the Red Eagle Creek in a mini-suspension bridge – twice! At about 4:30 after going through a forest fire area I arrived at Red Eagle Lake Head and setup my tent. No one else is here. The temperature was cool but it feels warm after the past few cold nights. I’m on the edge of the lake. Tomorrow is a shorter hike – only 14 miles – and I need it. My poor feet are getting beat up. Justin is also stopping by with resupplies. At Red Eagle Lake Head campground.

After climbing for a while I stopped for a snack and to take a picture. Old Man Lake Campsite (not visible) was somewhere on the left side of the lake. What you don’t feel is the cold gusty wind and the stinging rain. What you do see is the sheer beauty of these steep forested mountains
A panoramic image of the same view showing the trail constantly rising from the left and continuing to the right towards the pass