16th May Tuesday
27 miles (43 kms)
Start 4:15am to 5:30pm
Mt Taylor and extream cold
3:30 this morning my alarm clock woke me, then moments later Ken asking me if I was awake yet. Surprisingly it was easy to get motivated, I kept warm last night by wearing all my clothes, I still felt a little cold in the early morning hours but much better than all the previous nights.
Sunrise at Mt Taylor. 3,444m
I made it to the summit of Mt Taylor with the sun just breaking though the clouds as I pulled out my phone camera. But first I had to dig deep into my backpack and grab my jacket as the wind cutting through my jumper was making just standing in one spot unbearable. There I finally found my extra gloves that I badly needed. I had put them in my jacket pocket thinking that if I needed them, then I’d also need the jacket, and here I was thinking that I had lost them for good.
Walking down the north side of the maintain was very different to the ascent of the summit moments ago, with the forest providing coverage, the snow wouldn’t melt. The snow was hard and compact but still I slipped into hidden holes that threaten to break a leg had I had been moving faster.
Once we found a sheltered spot in the sun, i was able to warm my hands and body. We had our second coffee for the day and I had a peanut butter and cheese wrap, usually I break up the Pringles and put them on the wrap, but it was to much effort to get in the food bag for me to bother. I’m getting better in reducing my food bag weight before I start on the trail, usually I over budget and end up carrying excess food which equals to extra weight I need to carry.
The weather turned on us about an hour of descending Mt Taylor, first it was to hot and we removed all of our warm clothes but then the clouds started rolling in and the temperature dropped suddenly.
We were walking directly into a snow storm, Ken stopped and for a couple of minutes we were trying to decide whether to camp and finished for the day after doing 18 miles or keep moving on.
As it was only 11am, naturally we decided to keep going, my fingers were real cold, the gap between my backpack and my back received a few wind gusts which chilled me to my bones, then later came the freezing cold fingers.
We kept moving as we figured that if we stayed in one spot we would be worse off than continuing to walk.
At one point, visibility was down to 5 metres but we pushed on and soon the rest of my body was getting warmed once my core body temperature was comfortable.
It was definitely a long day where we started walking at 4:15am and finally found a camp site just after 5 in the afternoon.