Low Gap

March 27 2015

In the morning I woke half an hour before sunrise in the depths of Walasi-Yi; somehow I woke without cues from daylight or an alarm. I was shocked at how easily I could crawl out of my warm bed and run off into the freezing forest. The temperature had dropped that night, and we were hiking through freezing fog and sleet. I had never walked though cold temperatures and had a great deal of coping to do before I could hike comfortably.

I will update with more pictures, these are from the morning after Low Gap.

Trail Log :

35 degrees and drizzling with a wind that could blow me off the ridge line. My legs started to go numb, and I felt for the first time that maybe “I actually can’t do this.” I was afraid. I wanted to be anywhere else. So I found a rock and sat down on my rain jacket to examine the problem. My baggy pants had been dragging in the mud, pulling the freezing water up my legs to my knees. I unzipped my legs and sat there in my shorts wondering what I should do to get warm. I pulled out my rain chaps only to find that they were way too big and highly dysfunctional. I flopped along the trail for awhile, then decided that I was way too cold, so I stripped down and put on some long johns…butt naked right there in the middle of the trail. Shorts over long johns, under some ridiculous rain gear, I marched on in the freezing rain. A few hours later the sun came out and the entire world seemed crystal clear.”I can do this, keep going.” I learned today that: if it is sleeting, I should put on warm clothes and rain gear, especially pants. I also learned that judgmental people are assholes.

We came to a peak with yellow flowers and a beautiful view. We sat and enjoyed lunch in the crisp afternoon warmth. This was our longest day so far and mom was feeling sick. We pushed to get to a campsite that was sheltered from the freezing wind, but as we reached low gap we realized that we had a lot of company. I roughly counted sixty people crammed into this trampled site. The privy was nearly overflowing, and my mom began to refer to the campsite as a refugee camp.

Everyone was suffering from the cold, and the night was setting in solidly. We found a decent spot to set up and buffered the wind with our packs against the door opening. This was a weary and difficult night.

Trail log:Low gap is overflowing with shit. I am nervous being here because they say that there are confirmed cases of Noro virus here, living amongst us, inside us, shared by us.

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