Continental Divide Trail – Day 41
June 11, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 12.6 / 739.2
I was up early this morning again and on the trail before 6:00. I camped about 200 yards from Blue Lake and the trail wrapped around the side of the lake.
As soon as the trail left the lake it began climbing up the canyon wall on a steep snow covered slope. The going was slow, but since it was still early the snow was frozen and I was able to make pretty good time on this ascent.
The trail crossed through a pass then started tight back down the other side. This too was a steep snow covered slope. As the sun came out it started softening the snow and making it just a little trickier.
This turned out to be the theme for the day – up one steep side slope and back down on the opposite side of the mountain. There were a few treed areas, but most of it was large open slopes.
As the day warmed up the snow became slushy and I found myself glisading down the slopes. Sometimes by accident and sometimes purposely. My ice axe and crampons got fully used all day today.
The actual Continental Divide Trail in this area consist of many trails cut into the slopes and winding their way up the mountains. Sometimes with switchbacks and others just following a mountainside along a valley. With snow cover these all become tricky traverses of snow covered slopes.
My final descent of the day was in Adams Fork Conejos River valley. It started out as a traverse along a steep slope, but due to the steep slopes the trail dropped into the valley with the intent of walking the valley up to the saddle.
I found a nice dry spot near the river and set up my tent. The wind was really blowing when I set it up, but has died down as darkness settled in the valley.