Day 65 - tough hiking up Knapsack Col (23.7 miles)
July 13, 2021
Miles: 23.7 miles
Woke up at 6am to go to breakfast with Frank. We went to a nice little diner, something I was looking for last night when I got to town but they weren’t open for dinner.
After breakfast of biscuits & gravy, Frank drove me the 15 miles back to the trailhead. I’m still in awe of his hospitality to me, I couldn’t thank him enough for all he did.
Back on trail I had 10.5 miles until I reached the CDT. About 4 miles in I had cell coverage so I called my dad then called Yellowstone National Park about getting a permit. No one picked up so I left a message.
The hike back to the CDT was very nice, it was a slightly different trail then what I came in on. I passed by several lakes.
Once back on the CDT I had half of a mile before the turn off for Knapsack Col alternate trail. It’s suppose to be very hard but well worth it, views similar to that of the Cirque of the Towers.
The first several miles were pretty easy. I did stop at the first lake to eat lunch. Right before I stop I filled up on water but somehow I forgot to pick back up my bear spray. I realized it was missing after lunch so I ran over to the stream to where I filled up water and it was gone. I only saw 3 people pass me while I ate so I thought they must had picked it up. I did find it odd that didn’t ask me if it was mine when they walked back.
I then ran up to catch them, they had a 15 minute head start. Soon I ran into some guys heading the opposite direction. I asked if they had seen the 3 people and said they were just ahead. These 2 guys ended up giving me their bear spray as they were finishing up their hike.
I caught up to the 3 hikers and turned out they did pick up my bear spray. They gladly gave it back. I then offered the other bear spray but they didn’t want it. Then they realized I was a thru hiker and gladly took it and even offered me food, which I had plenty of.
After all that I got back to my normal hiking pace. I just had about 2 miles before I started the climb up to Knapsack Col. About a mile out dark clouds starting rolling in and the thunder started. Soon the rain and hail came so I laid up next to a large rock with my umbrella. It didn’t last long so I got moving again.
It did look like it might rain again and I knew I was heading into some really tough hiking for several miles, 1-1.5 mph hiking up loose rocks and some snow. I debated about just camping at the base then going up early for sunrise. I started seeing blue skies where I was going so decided to give it a go.
It was some the hardest hiking I’ve done up to the Col. Lots of rock scrabbles and at the top I had almost a vertical climb up snow. I’m glad I didn’t wait for morning to hike this section as the snow would have been hard as a rock and wouldn’t been able to do it as I didn’t have my ice ax or micro spikes anymore. I did bang up my shins a few times on the boulders so got a few cuts.
At the top I had more rock scrabbles down the mountain, slide and almost fell a few times. I did break both tips of my hiking pokes so that was no good.
Once at the bottom it was much easier hiking the rest of the way.
The last lake I had to hike around wasn’t that easy as I was hiking on boulders that were next to the water.
Found a nice campsite just before getting back to the CDT. I kind of waited to camp on the CDT but didn’t want to gamble, it was close enough.
Tomorrow looks much easier so should be able to get in 30+ miles.