November 1, 2014
Hike Out Via Esplanade and Jumpup-Nail Trail to Sowats Point
Today's route stats:Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1750 feet Elevation Loss: 100 feet
Last night was miserable. The wind picked up shortly after going to bed, and it continued, with increasing ferocity, the entire night. It was very hard to sleep. The wind kept blowing my sleeping bag off of me -- I rarely zip it up. Eventually I had to zip it up just to keep it from blowing away. And I had to be careful not to get off my Thermarest or it would have blown away for sure. My guess is that the wind velocity reached about 40 MPH.
We all got up before dawn. We couldn't sleep, so we thought we would get up and see how much of our gear had blown away. A lot of stuff had blown away, but we found most of it. I lost my sleeping bag stuff sack, and others lost a few items too. The wind was still blowing pretty hard in the morning, so we decided to just pack up and leave without eating breakfast. So at first light we were off.
There is somewhat of a trail all the way to Kwagunt. The trail is pretty faint at first, but the closer you get to Kwagunt, the more defined it becomes. One thing we've learned from hiking this section on previous trips is that the trail stays fairly high, up in the blackbrush, and not down on the slickrock benches, where most hikers would prefer to be. We lost the trail a few times, but it is definitely worth the effort to find it again.
I was the last one to reach the rim, as usual. Marcey and Leslie were still there waiting for me.
|Packing Up After a VERY Windy Night.||Cottonwoods at Head of Kwagunt Hollow.||A Look Back at Cottonwoods and Esplanade.|