7/14/17 – The Big Climb
Miles: 1,653.43 to 1,671.20
Total miles hiked: 1,087.34
“Shall we stay for breakfast?” Dave asked just before we went to bed last night.
Real food sounded good but the cafe did not open until 7:00 a.m. and I hoped to be partway up the hill by then. But at least I set the alarm for 5:00, giving Dave additional half an hour to sleep.
The hill was just as bad as I imagined. I was happy we got an early start. The trail was steep and mostly open and without the trees there was very little shade.
The views, sure wee enjoyable with Klamath River way below us and Mt. Shasta still on the horizon.
After at least 10 uphill miles we finally got little break and briefly enjoyed hiking downhills. We already climbed over 5,000 feet at that point and so the downhill part was definitely deserved.
At the bottom of the descent we had to make a decision. Campsites were available right there and if we stayed we could get a decent rest since it was only 4:30 in the afternoon.
If we continue, we would face another extremely steep hill. Not as long as the mornings one but climbing 1,800 feet in 4 miles.
We decided to push. It would give us an advantage tomorrow. If we stayed, we would have faced another 5,000 feet day, though the up would be distributed among multiple shorter ascends.
In the end we didn’t make the entire 4 miles. The trail climbed very steeply, exceeding grade of 500 feet per mile quite frequently, and just as we got to the point it flattened a little, we came across a bonus camp site that was not listed on any app and since most of the climb was already behind us, we decided to take it.
17.76 miles hiked and total of 6,776 feet climbed. Gotta love strong legs…. hopefully they still feel strong tomorrow.