PNT day 6 – Highline Trail


Trail Camp FR 114 (94.4) to Blue Bird Lake Camp (113.3)

18.9 miles

Judging from the elevation profile I thought today’s hike would be a bit easier than yesterday but it wasn’t. The two trails I hiked on – Foundation Creek Trail and the Highline Trail 339 – were in better shape than yesterday’s trail. Therefore at least route finding wasn’t an issue. But the climbs… so steep!

I woke up and my tent was all wet from condensation. I hung it over the sides of the bridge were my untouched Ursack was still hanging as I had left it. It was granola with four spoons of fatty milk powder for breakfast. Quarter past nine: my tent was halfway dry and I was ready to go. The first four miles would be along an unpaved road. The sky was blue and the sun shining. Three days of sunshine in a row!

There was some traffic on the road and once again I was happy to see the friendliness of the locals. Every car driver waved at me! They didn’t only pull over to give me half of the road, they also slowed down for a while aware if the dust cloud they produced behind the car. I waved back at every car driver and was happy!

Then I hit the Foundation Creek Trail. It was slowly climbing and I thought the first climb of the day would be the worst. I had just stopped at a beautiful lake for lunch before I climbed up towards Mt Wam. It was steep! And long… unbelievable that I decided to hike an extra half of a mile up Mt Wam to see the fire lookout.

Locals had told me to go up to the Stahl Lookout but I wasn’t sure if I could do that big sidetrip. It was a good decision as later when I passed the trail to the Stahl Lookout I was running out of time, water and strength. But I am sure the Stahl Lookout would be a great place to stay the night.

I wanted to head further and get to Blue Bird Lake. From there I could make it directly to the town of Eureka the day after. But it wasn’t easy to get there. The trail went down and straight for a while before I had to start my final ascent. From a very buggy lake and potential campsite the trail climbed up through patches of late season snow. In parts it was very steep again. The snow as well as the huge amount of mosquitos made me wonder how the campsite at Bluebird Lake would look like. Would I get a good spot? I was tired and it was already past 7 pm when I arrived at the lake. My feet all wet and cold from crossing the snowfields. I looked around checking for a good campsite. There was also a big fire ring and a nice seating area made of stones where I had dinner. The only thing I couldn’t find was a proper tree to hang my food. I was wondering how other people did that. I tied my Ursack to an only armthick tree and it’s held up in the air by an even thinner stick. It’s an Ursack hang and not a proper bear hang which means a bear could get the bag and play with it. But Ursack promises the bear will not get the food. Time for a test?

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