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Friday, July 29, 2011

Day 11 - Cathedral Rock to Tooth Ridge

Today will be another tough day on the trail as we pass Cimarroncito Reservoir en route to Clark's Fork Camp, the last purified water on the trail. After a breakfast stop and a final water fill up we start the long climb to Shaefer's Pass, elevation 8787ft. We can check the spring at the pass to see if we can top off our canteens, as there is no more water on the trail until Base Camp. the spring is a slow runner and sometimes crews will be backed up here waiting for water. We will not count on the spring, as it has been dried up since we came through here in 2001 and it is usually hit and miss, but we should have plenty of water after filling up at Clark's Fork. We then start the climb to Shaefer's Peak and around to Tooth Ridge Trail.
Tooth of Time
The trail across Tooth Ridge is very rocky and very rough. It was blasted out with dynamite.  We will be climbing over and around large rocks and boulders. This is one of the worst trails I have ever been on. It takes well over 2 hours to maneuver this trail. But as hard as it is, it has some fantastic views both to the north and south. Make sure you take the time to look both left and right and enjoy the views from this ridge. In 2001 we came upon a crew from Albuquerque that had lost a Scout. We were just below the Tooth of Time, we put together a search team and fanned out over the Tooth of Time. Our crew found the Scout, who had taken a wrong turn coming down off the Tooth. He was uninjured and was exited about some things he had found, a broken flashlight and a whistle.  He told us he as "impressed we had found him so fast," he also told us "the last time he got lost, it took the searchers 7 hours to find him." (Some people's kids!)

At Tooth Ridge Camp there are huge boulders all around the campsite. At the edge of the ridge is a pilot to bombardier latrine that looks Northeast out over the plans, you can see Base Camp in the distance below you.
Pilot to Bombardier Latrine

View north from Tooth of Time
This particular latrine was ranked in the top 10 by Backpacker magazine as one of the 10 best views from a latrine in the U.S.  This being the last night on the trail, someone will surely start talking about what they've missed the most on the trail, from pizza to hamburgers, burritos to ice cream. On an earlier trek, the Ranger for one of Troop 50's crews met the crew here with a pizza and some Pepsi he bought and carried up the trail for 2 hours to give the crew. I sure hope we impress our Ranger like that.

Last trek, our crew decided to climb the Tooth that evening instead of for sunrise. The top of the Tooth is large enough for several crews, in the afternoon and late evening it is not as crowded as it is earlier in the day. It is an awesome sight to be able to look to the South and see Lover's Leap where we started our trek, 9 days ago, watch overhead and  you might just see an Eagle soaring high above us, like Matt Menger and I did back on our '07 trek. It will probably be an early night tonite as tomorrow some may wish to rise early and climb the Tooth of Time for sunrise. I can't believe this is our last night on the trail, it has all gone by way too fast.

1 comment:

mike55 said...

looks like a lot of work...but very cool views! and outdoors is always a great place to be!! Hope you had fun,Michael!!