SCT Phase II Day Three

Fiddlehead Landing to Lewis Lake

Yesterday was just a warm up for today’s climb up Tin Hat Mountain, but 1,000m vertical before lunch is the name of the game on this trail.

The climb wasn’t as compelling as yesterday’s (no distracting fungi) although there was a rock fall with some mammoth boulders, but as they looked like ideal sites for bears to hibernate, I didn’t explore them too thoroughly. There were two creeks with signs saying it was the last water source before Tin Hat hut, so I burdened myself with extra water – including the nice water bottle I’d found on the trail. Several of the huts have been located where there is no water, ao you need to carry all you need for drinking and cooking. Washing is not even an option, which would make sleeping in the huts an interesting experience in a normal hot summer season.

Despite the warnings, this is the 2nd to last water source

The view from the top was spectacular – see photo above (if you squint hard enough you will see my new Aarn backpack on the picnic table!) As I was not lingering at the top, I donated my newly found water bottle (complete with water) to the hut, so that anyone arriving behind me who was short of water may get a pleasant surprise! I didn’t have the mountain to myself. Two groups of day trippers arrived, walking dogs and enjoying the view before descending again. There is a logging road that provides easy access to a point halfway (maybe more than halfway) up the mountain, so walking all the way up is seemingly for the dedicated (or the ignorant).

In the end I decided not to stay at the top of the mountain, but continued down to Lewis Lake, where I indulged in a refreshing swim before dinner! But the refreshing swim was after a brutal, knee destroying descent on what only an optimist would describe as a trail. Easy the worst part to date, and hard to imagine anything more challenging to come in the kilometres ahead. About two thirds of rhe way down I met a couple with two dogs going up. It was mid afternoon and they had a heck of a climb ahead of them, and it was only after they passed that I realized she was carrying an infant on her back instead of a backpack. Yeesh… two dogs and a child, which is alot of extra provisions to cart up the mountain. (I later learned that they had pitched camp about halfway up – not that I recalled any ideal campsites!)

My knees were so tired that I made camp as soon as I got to Lewis Lake. The site was not listed as a campsite, but I was beyond caring. The criteria for a good campsite are a level and smooth tent pitch, a picnic table, a water source for bathing, and a pit toilet. My choice for the evening only checked one box, but once again I had it to myself.

Guerilla camping

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