Mile 979.8-996.4 (16.6)
Immediately when I woke up, I listened for the creek. I put on my wet sneakers and went to see if the water level was any lower. It was, by at least a foot.
I packed up and went down stern to the fallen log. It was narrow and slippery but I made it cross. Curly did too, and I left before Chris made it.
I hiked fast to get across all the creeks early. I climbed up and down a mountain and made it to the deep creek on the otherside, in Stubblefield Canyon. Thinking it was slow-moving, I went across with my pack overhead. Then the water was up to my neck and my feet slipped out from under me in the current. My pack went in on its side before I could recover and hoist it back aloft. I threw my pack on shore and hauled myself out. It was 7:30am and chilly. I decided to keep moving, hope for some sun on the next climb to dry things out.
I hiked a few more miles, warmed up and dried out. Around noon I got to Wilma Creek and found the “wide creek” nearby to be a fast-moving river. I walked its shore for a while, trying to find the best place to cross. Where the current was calm, the water was too deep to walk across, and where it was shallow there were cascades. I settled upon a spot with four mini-crossings, hoping each would be no higher than waist deep, so I could use my poles against the current. It worked. When I crawled out, the lower half of my body was numb from so much time in the cold water. I took lunch on some sunny rocks and spread out all my things to dry.
The trail this afternoon was less exciting, almost tedious. I walked alongside Falls Creek. The trail itself oscillated between pile of snow and flowing water. Climb over snow bank, drop back to the trail that has 2-6 inches of water running down it; repeat ad nauseum.
I climbed up to Dorothy Lake just as the sun was disappearing behind the mountain ridge. It was windy and getting cool, and I decided to make camp even though it was early. The Norwegians got here about an hour later and set up camp too.