Denali 3. Hump day

Day 2:

Slept relatively well. Cooked oatmeal in Jetboil. Should have used bag from last night’s meal.

Best cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life.

No kidding. I still can’t believe how amazing coffee tastes in this environment. It is completely and overwhelmingly sensual.

Looking at Denali in glory. Take a couple pictures.

I am out of water and must move to Unit 34, so pack-up and am moving by 8:45.

Gan’t make progress straight east so return to road. Walk road 3 + hours. See Chuck in park maintenance truck. Spend some time in Compass/map land. Trying to make sure where I am. A Mercedes van that passed me on the road is stopped near where I want to cut in to find a camp near Mt. Galen. There is also a stream and what looks like a trail head. I drink some filtered water (cold) and then fill one of my bottles. I head up trail and it quickly disappears. The landscape opens up into a nice valley behind a ridge. I find a possible camp, but wonder if there is better further. I realized that I’ve dropped my maps, and permit. I drop the pack and get the daypack out, fill it with water bottle and filter bag. I hurry back along what I think is my route. Finding the trail again, the map bag is in the middle of the trail near the road. I continue to road and fill both the Camelback and filter bag. Return to pack. I evaluate site and decide to at least spend the night. Set up camp. Marginally better at it. Fewer mosquitoes, more wind. I cook freeze-dried meal. Marginally better at it. I think the van by the road was a group climbing Mt. Galen. I see them a couple times. Never close. Nap. Look at Mountain. I’m tired.

The morning hike with the heavy pack really knocked me out. I’m just not used to carrying that heavy of a load, and the one piece of gear that I’m not so happy with is my pack.

I keep wondering how much difference one of the new, high-tech packs would make on a trip like this. I’m also not sure if I’ve even rigged this thing right. I should have showed it to someone like Lynn who would probably show me some tricks. I keep thinking about that scene in PLATOON where Willem Dafoe inspects the new recruits before their first night ambush and just pulls gear off of them tossing it on the ground saying… “you don’t need this… and this…” I’m certainly glad that I didn’t ever plan on covering a lot of distance on this trip. This was my highest mileage day in terms of humping it with the pack.

This is a view of Denali from Camp 2:

By evening my spirits are dampened…

Doubts again. Am I actually safe?

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One Response to “Denali 3. Hump day”

  1. Jill Snapp says:

    Very cool… I used to do backpacking with my ex. I loved it. The earth will provide.