We'd initially hoped that she would be able to night hike all the way out yesterday. But after 22 miles on the day she hit snow banks too steep to safely negotiate in darkness. That wound up being a blessing in disguise, tho. She was trapped between snow banks with no room for her tent and the only level spot was a small saddle up at 10,800 feet elevation. So she just slept right there on top of her tent (which she used as a groundcloth). Having just completed two of her best days on the trail with the most beautiful stretch she'd seen to date, to cap it off sleeping under the stars on a moonless and crystal clear cold night was just the best.
Here are her words in the GeoPro messages that came to me last night. They explain it better -
20:15 - MUST STOP. TOO DANGEROUS! STEEP SNOW FIELDS.
20:16 - THINK I WILL BE COWBOY CAMPING TONIGHT. NO ROOM FOR TENT!
20:25 - GOING TO STAY RIGHT HERE!
20:42 - CAMPED RIGHT SMACK IN MIDDLE OF TRAIL IN MIDDLE OF PASS. ONLY FLAT SPOT.
20:46 - EATING TORTILLAS AND CLIF BARS AND LOOKING AT THE INCREDIBLE STARS. WHAT A WAY TO END!
20:52 - IT DOESN'T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS! WISH YOU WERE HERE!
It got down to 25 degrees that night and every once in awhile Tina was awakened by ground creatures scratching at her pack or bear canister, but all-in-all it was a wonderful final night.
I'll write a wrap up post or two yet, but in the meantime, thank you all for your support.
Thanks especially to Kacee who spent so much time packing things up, shipping things to us, receiving and sorting things out that we sent back to her, generally watching over us --- and also for the special surprises she always found time to include in our supply packages! :)
All the best, David