Started at Galehead hut – mile 1825.2
Finished at Mizpah Spring hut – mile 1846.3
21.1 miles covered.
Total days hiked 99
18.65 Av miles / days
Firstly I would like to apologise if you find me rambling on or repeating myself as the days pass. I think I haven’t been guilty of this but my blog is like an information upload for me. So much happens out here and once committed to the notes in my iPhone it fades from my memory. If you asked me what I was doing last week or what shelter I stayed in it would take some time to work it out.
Tiredness is also a big factor. When I type my blog I am shattered and clinging on by my finger nails. Maybe the best material is written like this or maybe my words are just a load of dribble. Either way I am struggling to maintain energy levels during my hike and fully commit to this blog. Once again everyone else is asleep and I am still typing. Yet something drives me on to try and record what’s been occurring. It’s just tonight’s entry might be a little brief.
The guys at the Galehead hut were a world of difference to the little upstarts at the Lonesome lake hut. It was nice waking up feeling full of healthy food. Something I haven’t felt for a good while.
XC and I were the only ones who stayed for breakfast, but this time they made us fresh oatmeal and we also had pancakes.
The first climb of the day was tough and took us to the South Twin Mountain along the Twinway trail. Things then improved. We were told by the south bounders last night that there was a 5 mile section that was flat and I hadn’t even come to that part of the trail at that point.
This is why we pushed for a big day of 21 miles instead of 16. Where a 16 mile day in the Whites has felt like a 20-25 mile day.
There was another hut at 21 miles from where we started today. We thought we would go for it. Although the first 15 miles where relatively straight forward hitting the climb to Webster cliffs at the end of the day was hard.
XC had hiked ahead of me for most of the day and I played a game of tracking him as I know the tread on his Salomon trail runners. He has a pair similar to ones I have owned and it was easy to distinguish them from the other footprints. I spend a lot of time studying the trail anyway to make sure I place my feet correctly. I could see his tracks in the mud as well as prints on rocks. It these kind of games that help the days pass.
At one point this afternoon I launched my trekking poles. I felt knackered and frustrated, completing lacking in energy. Today is day 4 in the Whites and I still have 3 more days.
I used the tracking game as a distraction and also went through memory games in my head. I went through as many Kung fu blocks that I could remember. Punch blocks 1-8 and kick block 1-5.
I also went through the layout of all the caravans in Hardwick Park in my head and who lives in which. Visualising each person and any memories / funny stories I have about them. I found racking my brains for outside stimuli helped and changed my mood. This hike is much more of a mental struggle than I expected.
Mt. Webster and the Webster cliffs were impressive. I had a huge climb and then had to traverse the ridge. Some of which was above tree line. I could see the South and North Twin peaks and the ridge I had been walking on earlier. I could even see Mt Washingon which is the second biggest mountain on the whole trail. That’s what we intend to cross over tomorrow.
I arrived at Mizpah hut just gone 20:15 after 10.5 hours of pure hiking (not including breaks) Luckily another thru hiker had decided to move on and there was a space for me. XC was doing a talk upstairs to the day hikers who were staying at the hut. I ate well but drew the short straw and had to clean the fridge out for payment.
Staying in these huts is becoming a bit of a pattern. There were a load of left over cookies and chocolate cake tonight that the staff insisted we take with us. Otherwise they have to carry it out with the trash. It’s an arrangement that works, although I feel I am moving away from the wilderness experience that was my original intent. I think the huts we pass tomorrow won’t fit the mileage I need to average so I think things will hopefully return to normal. I miss my tent and want to do more stealth camping in this beautiful section of the trail.