Elk Lake to Suicide Creek
Another day, another hill to climb… And I was glad I didn’t rashly decide to continue on to Walt Hill yesterday. It was a pleasant hike, as long as one’s idea of pleasant is staggering up steep hills masquerading as a beast of burden. Actually much of the morning was following along old forestry tracks, and while they were overgrown, it was pleasant hiking right up until we left the track and went vertical.
I spent the morning leapfrogging a group of four students from Calgary, who I observed had the energy to be packing a bottle of wine. We last crossed paths at the Walt Hill hut (yet another on top of a hill with limited access to water). As I sat eating my lunch at the picnic table outside the hut, I overheard them discussing their food supply. They were dipping into their meagre spare day rations as they’d made an unscheduled night stop the previous night, and as I was no longer planning to walk the entire trail, I gifted them some of my food. I was happy to shed a kilo from my pack, and they were happy not to have to divide a two person meal between four!
The guidebook describes the descent from Walt Hill as the toughest section of rhe entire trail, but maybe this description predates the new trail down from Tin Hat. But the view was spectacular, and the undocumented campsite at Suicide Creek a pleasant surprise – and checked all the boxes, although the water was a couple of minutes away down a track, and of insufficient quantity for a quality bathe!
For the first time since day one I saw bear scat on the trail, so I made doubly sure of hanging my food bag in a location well away from my tent! Once again I had a campsite to myself, so even though I see folks during the day, I don’t seem to be on the same night stop schedule.