03 August 2010

Day 10

Push day

As we used to say in the Army, one day and a wake up!

Today is long/hard trail. Hike up through Hidden Valley (optional side hike) then down to Clark's Fork Camp, then a hard up hill push up to Shaffer's Pass and out along the Tooth Ridge. Depending upon the trail they take and any side hikes, it could be anywhere from 9-12 miles to reach the Tooth Campsites.  If they plan it right and the weather is good, they could eat breakfast at Window Rock. 

Panoramic view from Window Rock

Cathedral Rock & Cito Lake

Bad news is that it is a long day with a steep climb to Shaffer's Pass. Good news is tomorrow at this time they will be back in base camp buying ice cream and souvenirs. This is the last hard day for the crew and that is both exciting and exhausting. They should be looking forward to the return trip to camp and "enjoying" their final day on the trail. One more night of sleeping on the ground and hanging bear bags. Lots of stories to tell and pictures to share.

Clark's Fork

Once they hit Shafer's pass and take a lunch break, they can tackle the Ridge Trail.  A rugged trail that runs along the ridgeline from Shafer's Peak down to the Tooth.  Not a hard trail, but it is long and you spend a lot of time crossing boulder fields.  After about 3 hours of scrambling and rock hoping, you finally reach the base of the Tooth.  Should be   Last day is normally an early wake up, hike to the top of the Tooth and watch the sun come up over Texas. Great sight. Spectacular views. Afterwards, pack up camp and head to base camp. About a 2-3 hour trek but seems longer with all of the switchbacks along the trail.

Looking back towards Mount Phillips

Looking east to the Tooth of Time

After about 3 hours of scrambling and rock hoping, you finally reach the base of the Tooth. Should have plenty of time to set up camp a hike to the top of the Tooth of Time for a view of Philmont.  The Tooth of Time looks like an old molar and is the predominantlandmark that seen when you approach Philmont.  It is a rocky escarpment that sticks out over the eastern foothills of the rancy.  It is in all of the logos for Philmont.  When a crew completes their trek, they earn an arrowhead patch that has the Tooth of Time outlined.  Not all treks wind up on the Tooth.  Some will cross it in passing, others will only see it from afar.  We tend to pick a trek that allows you to camp out at the base and catch the sunrise on the last day on the trail before you head into camp.  To me, the Tooth symbolizes the milestone of completing your journey at Philmont.

1 comment:

terri said...

What gorgeous views! A lot of hard work with some beautiful rewards!