Monday, August 10th, 2020
I explored the ruins of the Interlaken Resort further when the sun came up. This was an awesome, and random find in the woods. We had the infamous Hope Pass to conquer today which is about 12,500 feet above sea level, and it would be 3,300 feet of elevation gain to the top! I was equally excited and nervous. Fortunately, we weren’t going to be climbing it in the snow.
I was hating myself for feeling so weak. Any time I exceed 9,000 feet above sea level, I start to drag. I don’t do well with thin air. It was only about 7.5 miles to the top of Hope Pass, but most of the hiking was well over 9,000 feet. It was all worth it in the end.
The hike down was pretty awful too. It was so steep, my knees felt like they might blow out. I was genuinely worried I might injure myself. Once the trail started to flatten out a bit, we briefly felt like we were in a jungle. The forest was thick, but then it opened up. I started hearing the grasshoppers clicking through the air again as the sun beat down on me.
When I got close to a camp site, I was thrilled to run back into Filter and Bang who were hanging out with two former hikers, Paradise and Nani. Paradise just finished the Colorado Trail on July 25th. He provided us a cooler full of ice cold sodas. I was thrilled! Frisbee rolled in shortly after to enjoy the refreshments with us.
After a couple sodas, we walked a little further to the stream to eat and to fill up on water before we worked our way towards Lake Ann Pass. The hiking was pretty mellow most of the way. I was bracing myself for more climbs, but they didn’t appear until after I passed by Jafar who was relaxing in the shade by a water source.
I was frustrated when the climbing began. I understand the purpose behind these switchbacks, however I still have that up-and-over Appalachian Trail mentality. The thin air was making it extra frustrating. I’m sure I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but once again, the hard work was all worth it in the end. I was stunned when I reached the top of Lake Ann Pass. The views didn’t look real. I felt like I was in a simulation or staring at a well crafted landscape painting. After a long time taking it all in, the cold gusts of wind helped encourage us to keep moving. We made our way to the bottom to find a warmer place for the night at the 23.8 mile mark of the Collegiate West Alternate.
~ 22.8 miles (~36.7 km) of Collegiate West Alternate
Jump Ahead to The Colorado Trail: Part 11
Jump Back to The Colorado Trail: Part 9
Start from the Beginning: The Colorado Trail: Part 1