September 7, 2003

Well, I think I’ve cured my power-hiking addiction this past weekend.  I don’t feel the itch to get back out there soon.

I attempted an end-to-end two-day highline trail hike.   I started from the Chepeta Lake trailhead, north-east of Roosevelt on Friday morning. The eastern half of the Unitas was cool to see, very remote, not a human to be seen the whole day.  Passed by beautiful lakes.  Only had a couple brief rain showers, which did delay me some.  I reached Andersons Pass at
8 p.m. and gave my wife a call.  The plan was for her to pick me up at Mirror Lake Saturday afternoon.

I was planning on getting a very early start on Saturday, but the battery on my headlamp went out and I couldn’t find the backup I thought I brought.   I attempted to go on a dim light but could only go one mile per hour, so I gave up and slept till dawn at Tungsten Pass, which is across the next valley from Kings Peak. I put in about 30 miles on Friday. I knew that there would be no way to reach Mirror by the time my wife would arrive, so I decided to abort. So I headed back up to
Anderson’s Pass (which is grueling coming from the west), called my wife and told her I would just hike the 25 or so miles back to the car, but I would likely be late.

Well, I should have aborted at Henrys Fork.  The hike down Painters Basin was great, but then it started to rain.  And it rained for four hours!  It made the going slow, but was cool to see all the streams and rivers rise.   At 5 p.m. I reached Fox Lakes and met a couple guys with horses up there for a week.  They had a giant tent with a woodstove going, and I was tempted to ask to spend the night in warmth, but still thought I could make it all the way to the car….nine more miles  The
guys thought I was crazy.

I pushed on, my GPS is broken and I made the mistake of climbing up a wrong pass.  I figured out my mistake, but lost over an hour.  By the time I reached the top of North Pole Pass, I knew I was in trouble.  It was dusk and I still had five miles to go.  Then a bad cold storm blew in.  I was able to get down from the pass, but knew I had to give up, set up the tent and call it quits for the day.  I knew my wife would crazy with worry, but I had warned her that this might happen and that I had
everything I needed.  The wrong choice would have been to try to push on.

The morning was sunny and beautiful.  A neat sunrise to the east without mountains in the way.  The last four miles was so peaceful.   I finally reached the car at 8:30 a.m. and then got within cell coverage at 9:15.

Anyway, here are a couple guys that did do this hike, starting from further east.