Walking up the small creek was fast and easy, we should have taken the small right fork, but the left side was so nice we overlooked its importance. We topped out on a pass a little disoriented, but just walked back to the right side, and were back on route. More sponge land, I was really beginning to hate this stuff, wet feet, high energy output, slow travel, and horrendous mosquitoes. There was a herd of caribou, lots of tracks, but no trails through the wet open mountains, my theory was that any game trail would just become a creek.
Photo by: Lynn Peterson
The mosquitoes had been bad this whole trip, but when we reached the bushy covered lateral moraine of the Hayes glacier they came out in full force. It was to the point where literally hundreds were around me, the noise, and yuck factor are indescribable. Ryan almost lost it, at one point I had to tell him he was going in the wrong direction. The urge to flee is so strong, but there is nowhere to go.
The East Hayes "creek" was flowing fast and high, there was no way we were going to cross it, instead we crossed the glacier right where it quite literally bubbled up from the edge of the ice. I've never seen anything like it.
It was pretty straight forward getting across and we lost some of the mosquitoes along the way. Once on the other side we debated whether to go around the twin hills, or over. I was ready to do anything to stay out of sponge land, but got out voted. There are lots of ways to get to the same place sometimes, Ryan and I don't always agree on the best route, so we ended up taking turns getting to decide. Lynn wasn't as opinionated as me and Ryan.
Lynn Above the Hayes Glacier
Lots of Big Beautiful Mountains
The bugs, slow travel and high energy output wore on us and by the time we got to Hayes creek on the other side we were all spent. All of us wanted a reprieve from the bugs, so we buried the flaps of the mega-mid in the sand, we lost some real estate, but all slept more peacefully.