Camp: CDT mile 363.5
Elevation at camp: 11600 ft
Waking up at 4 am was surprisingly easy. I was already awake when I heard Squirrel stirring (our human alarm clock). I fought the dread of waking before it was light, but it was rather warm considering our elevation. As a bonus, there was no condensation on my tent either! The morning was already going smooth as I strapped on my microspikes for our early descent into a valley.
I enjoyed the morning walking as the sun rose higher in the sky. It was immediately very warm and the snow grew soft early. We switched to snowshoes within an hour, postholing wherever there were rocks or trees to warm the snow. The time was going as we expected when we settled in for first break. Slow and steady.
The walking was pretty mellow today as far as elevation gain/loss, but we never had occasion to remove our snowshoes. There was always snow to walk on and it was mostly hard enough to avoid postholing, but we still made some trips through the snow (even in snowshoes).
Again, the epic views are not done justice by my camera. The San Juan mountains are mind blowing, humbling and majestic. Every moment is a photograph/postcard/calendar page. Just wow.
Dinner: loaded mashed potatoes with summer sausage, cranberries and Mediterranean spices.