Yesterday I went for a quick 4.8 mile hikeup Grandeur Peak. It stuck out to me because the trail reports were saying it’s not a typical hike and that it was really steep. I just got a pair of hiking sandals I wanted to test out, so why not throw them into the fire with a difficult hike?
But when the report said it was steep, they really meant it was steep. This isn’t a switchback kind of hike, you go up a canyon briefly, cut up to a ridge, then follow the ridgeline all the way up to the top, come back down, and follow a different ridge to the bottom (if you want to do a loop).
As I got closer to the top I realized the actual summit of the peak lays higher up and requires a bit of snow hiking. Before I hit the snowline I looked on the ridge across from me and saw a pack.. or herd.. or whatever, a cluster of deer making their way across the hillside.
Then it was my turn.
I wasn’t too sure if traversing snow in sandals was exactly the best idea, but I gave it a shot for the first little while and found it wasn’t too bad. The tread on these are about as robust as my trail runners which do fine in snow, it was just a matter of having cold feet which actually wasn’t a persistent problem since the snow/water on my feet dried off fast enough to not be a problem. Despite what you’d think my feet stayed pretty warm.
The summit was small and there was a line of hikers behind me making their way up, so I didn’t stay for long. This is the highest climb I’ve done this year, and it was well worth the views. On the other hand it became apparent to me that my route through Utah is going to be hard. Going up and over stuff like this every day isn’t going to be a walk in the park at all, but it’s still something I’d like to do.
Post PCT life still sucks, but it’s becoming marginally better now that it’s spring time. It’s getting close to thru-hiking season and I’m really excited, though I’m still not 100% on my plans. I’m stuck between an Oregon Coast Trail thru mixed with a couple shorter trails, or an Ice Age Trail thru-hike, or god knows what. I won’t know until I actually step out the door, it’s become clear to me that having concrete plans is futile. Until then there’s plenty of trails to hike, and I have fun plans for the weekend of April 15th, my PCT anniversary. I can’t wait for all this stupid snow to melt.