Stealth Spot(123.6) to Stealth Spot(147.7) 24.1mi
Total Miles: 190.4
Good new! Apparently my new tarp setup is semi-waterproof. This was a major concern of mine when I switched to the new tarp. It appears that as long as the rain is coming straight down I will stay dry. It rained pretty hard for 30 minutes last night, as a result it was very cold this morning. I had frost on the ground when I got back on the trail. It seems I picked a sheltered spot to set up camp because I didn’t see any frost around where I was set up. It did take a little bit longer to get out of camp this morning. Mainly because I was chilled and didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag and also trying to pack up a wet tarp took a little longer than packing up a dry tarp. Since I don’t use a stuff sack for the tarp I had to figure out how to pack it up without getting other things in my pack wet.
The first half of my day was amazing! I had a very gentle climb above 12,000ft to Searle Pass. It was a very beautiful hike and one of my favorite sections of the CT so far. I enjoyed 360 degree views for several miles. I took several breaks just so I could stay in the moment and take it all in. After I got to the top of the Pass I went downhill for a little bit. I could see a sign in the distance, but couldn’t see what it said until I was right next to it. It read Kokomo Pass. I remember this being one of my favorite parts of the CDT in Colorado, but I didn’t realize it was in this section. It was a very nice surprise. Even though I wasn’t ready for another break I took one anyway.
On my way up to Searle Pass
Janet’s Cabin (cool little cabin you can rent)
Water was everywhere this morning
Top of the Pass
Little marmot just chilling
Hiked the ridge line for awhile
The hike back down from the Pass wasn’t too bad. I lost a ton of elevation, but it wasn’t too steep. On the way down I passed a lot of water sources, I was able to stay well hydrated today. I remembered the section after the descent very well from my 2028 hike. I’m not sure why it was so memorable. I hiked on a dirt road for a bit before passing a group campground called Camp Hale. Then I hit an old training area from WWII that the 10th Mountain Division used for training. There was a cool serious of bunkers in the middle of nowhere. I also saw a sign saying to stay on trail because of old unexploded ordinance in the area. I think that is why I remembered this area so well.
Bunkers from WWII era
Bunkers from WWII era
Awesome rock that looked like Yoda
The hike up to Tennessee Pass was unremarkable and I didn’t remember hiking this area at all. When I finally got to the top of the Pass I remembered it well. In 2018 I was talking to a section hiker and got him to take my trash for me. Unfortunately, this year nobody was around to talk to, much less take my trash. The parking area did have a privy so it wasn’t a total loss.
Tennessee Pass. That big mountain is where Searle Pass was
For the next 4ish miles I hiked on a cross country ski trail. It was very well graded and made for a nice end to a very long day. Today was the first day that I didn’t see a single thruhiker. I saw two bikepackers and a ton of day hikers. I must be in a weird little bubble. At Tennessee Pass you can go into the town of Leadville, so maybe that’s why I didn’t see anyone. I’m going into Leadville for a town stop, but I chose a point farther down the trail to do so. Tennessee Pass is just too close to Breckenridge for me to go back into town already.
“There's a lot of optimism in changing scenery, in seeing what's down the road.”
- Conor Oberst