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Day 6
Another grand day for day hiking and lots of great photos! Andre and I started off up the ridge at 10:20, followed shortly after by Ashley. From the top of the ridge we headed west (?) toward tall, jagged peaks. We spent about 15 minutes at the first peak, in complete awe of the Slim headwaters / Griswold pass area. Flat Arizona-line plains abutt massive glaciers, tarns and lakes dot the landscape.
Slim Creek lies beyond this ridge
We climbed the slope on the right to gain the ridge
Overview of our base (at the larger lake)
Andre hiking up to the ridge
We hiked along the narrow, rocky ridge to the farthest point and waited for Sarah and Nick to join us. We settled in to a long lunch, marvelling at the views and swatting at the clouds of horseflies. Andre and Nick got in some good rock throwing, and Ashley, not to be outdone, joined in the fun.
Ashley added the finishing touch to this cairn, giving it that aliens-have-arrived look
Views From the Top!
This one's pretty cool-----
Calamity strikes on the descent; well, not too bad but it could have been much worse. Instead of returning via the route we came up, we decided to take a round-about route by descending into the flat plains below (you can see this area clearly in the photo below, to the right of Andre & Nick clowning around on one of the gen-d'arms). From there we would go up another pass, make kind of a U-turn and head down the headwaters of the Gun and back up over Wolverine Pass.

As we descended to the plains and the tarn below, Sarah fell on the large and somewhat loose boulders, slamming the side of her kneecap very, very hard. It was about 15 minutes before she dared put weight on it, and luckily we had a first aid kit with a tensor bandage along. Progress was very slow, and very painful for Sarah, but we managed to complete the long circuit over rough terrain without any more difficulty.

Our two clowns
Nick's rock sculpture
Hiking through the plains to the pass of Gun Creek's headwaters
There were dozens of these plate size marble-cake like rocks in the pass.
A break in a flat, sandy spot right in the crux of the pass. Sunshine on one side, dark clouds on the other, raining down on Mt. Sheeba and lower Gun Valley.
Sarah & Andre coming down the pass on the Gun Valley
side. Wolverine Pass is just around the corner to the right.
Headwaters of the Gun; Mt. Sheeba in the distance
Laundry Day! This is actually one of my favorite
photos! (Maybe 'cause its not my laundry...)
Day 7
6:15AM - I awoke thinking I was at home in bed, and when I realized I wasn't I thought, horrified - what the h*** am I doing in a tent??

Cold Clouds shrouded the alpine this morning, but hints of blue patches gave hopes of a dry, even possibly sunny, day ahead. Just after 9:00am we began making our way back down the pass and into Gun Valley.

Retracing our way out was much easier through the trail-less bush than on the way in. A pretty low-key adventure day with a couple creek crossings and an early camp next to the creek.

Gun Creek, below Wolverine Pass
Back at the heli-ski equipment sheds.
Our camp just above Gun Creek
Day 8
Another low-key day re-tracing our path back to Trigger Lake. The blowdowns didn't seem so bad the second time around - either because we'd tramped routes over / under / around them already or because our packs were down to reasonable weights. Probably both!

We arrived at Trigger Lake around 3pm, and after setting up camp and resting for a bit, Andre, Ashley & I backtracked to the Warner Pass junction and hiked up to Warner Lake.

The marshy meadows near Trigger Lake
Warner Lake
Day 9
The Day We'd All Been Waiting For! Yes, indeed - finally the day to climb into the dry, rolling, windswept hills so typical of the area. Mt. Sheeba was our goal for the day, via Deer Pass.

Andre and I were anxious to leave early and have as much time possible on the ridges, so we left at 8:00am, while the other three, the less zealous and more tea-inclined, departed camp about 9:45am. (Sarah's knee had now healed to where she was comfortable hiking on it, and she was pretty keen on joining on this day hike)

Dark, ominous clouds threatened to pour rain on us around 10:00am, and Andre and I were wondering if we'd brought adequate clothing. As we gained the pass, fat marmots scurried about as howling winds whipped around us - anyone lighter that Sarah or myself would have surely been swept off their feet.

In a desperate attempt to stay warm (as he'd forgotten his jacket) and take protection from the intense winds, Andre tried wearing his backpack!! It didn't work, but I sure as heck laughed tears!
Some Really Cool Panos
Gun Valley Warner Lake to Deer Pass Ridge to Mt. Sheeba
Warner Lake
Sunset on Trigger Lake
Nothin' like some smoked socks, eh??
Day 10
The Final Journey began once again at 9:00am, with 20 km's of trail between us and the finish line. This trail is the equivlaent of a backcountry highway, and with a slight downhill grade we figured we'd have it in the bag by mid-afternoon. Yeah, right. 20 km's are still 20 km's. And then there's still some weight on our backs. And heat. And flies. And mosquitoes. And more flies. And more flies. And more flies. AAAAAAHHHHH --- too many freakin' flies!!!
Hummingbird Lake
The grasslands area
Gun Creek
Gun Creek Trail through the Grasslands area
It was 1:00 before we arrived back at our first campsite - still at least 8 km's from the trailhead. We were truly ready for a good lunch break; we'd been waiting and waiting to get to this spot and finally we were here! We ditched our packs around the fire ring under the trees and made a beeline for the creek. What relief is found in soaking one's body in icy cold, rushing water after such a journey can only be truly appreciated by others equally weary, hot, sweaty and covered in a layer of sunscreen, insect repellant and a wide assortment of smattered bugs!

After a lengthy lunch break I was awakened by the others gathering together their packs and mobilizing for the rest of the journey. Spaced out and still in a zone of sleep, I drearily trudged along behind the rest, my clean skin slowly being covered in a fine layer of dust from those ahead of me. Such are the costs of enjoying the great outdoors!

5:45PM - Finally! After spotting a small black bear cub 15 minutes before, we crossed the Jewel Creek bridge, and presto - we were back at square one.

A wonderful journey - a wonderful group - good times were had by all!!

Andre & Trudel, Nick, Ashley & Sarah

Time to go home!