Day 3: Egypt Lake Campground to Redearth Creek Parking Lot, 19.6 km, 358 m Elevation Gain, 941 m Elevation Loss, 4 hrs 55 minutes.
The plan for today was to hike up Whistling Pass to Balls Pass Junction. It was not an overly long day, at about 10 km. There was the possibility of taking a side trip to Scarab Lake.
Not being in a rush we got out of the tent at 7:00 am. It had been a cool night in the tent. I had kept the doors wide open to keep a breeze to minimize the condensation buildup. It had worked nicely, as there was very little water inside the tent. Volcano had her fleece jacket on for sleeping but I had fussed during the night worrying whether she was warm enough. I had a -9 C sleeping bag and was plenty warm. During the night I covered her with my puffy jacket to provide extra warmth. She appeared to have slept well. I was probably fussing over nothing as Volcano had slept many years outside all year, but she was older and sleeping indoors on a regular basis.
I was happy that Volcano did not just bolt out of the tent. I want her to be relaxed when we go camping.
We headed off to the food area for breakfast. Volcano has to have her breakfast right after she wakes up, it’s the law (at least in her mind it is). I was in for a surprise when I fed Volcano. She took no interest in her food which was a cause for concern. I put Volcano’s food into the Bear Locker and made a quick decision to head out to Egypt Lake. Early mornings are great times to photographs lakes to get a smooth mirror effect on the water. We rushed over to Egypt Lake and were not disappointed.
We only stayed at Egypt Lake for about 10 minutes before heading back. I even managed to get reflections of Pharaoh Peak in the little pond.
We headed back to the food area to have breakfast. Volcano ate her food which made me feel better. I had my Logan Bread and coffees. We got back to the campsite at about 8:50 am to begin packing up. I had already decided at this time that we were not going to continue onto Balls Pass Junction but head home instead. It had been a fun trip but I wanted to err on the side of caution. I felt that Volcano would be happier to head home. When we did leave camp I felt my decision was justified as Volcano set a strong and determined pace all the way to the car.
We left camp at 9:38 am. We were retracing our steps from the previous two days. With a major net elevation loss I was happy with the brisk pace that Volcano set coming out of camp. While the goal was to get back to the car. I did want to stop at a couple of places to get photographs that I did not take on the way to Egypt Lake. We arrived back at Pharaoh Creek CG in 1 hr 5 minutes. Volcano’s memory is so good, she turned left off the main trail back to the eating area.
We left Pharaoh Creek CG and turned right at the detour to follow the new trail. I could tell Volcano was eager to head home. She was pulling hard on the uphills on the trail. Yesterday when we made our way to Pharaoh Lake Volcano fell behind. Now she was super keen and pulling hard. When hiking I frequently yell to alert possible bears in the area of my presence. It seems to work as I have not seen a bear on the trail when backpacking. As we were hiking through the detour after one yell, I had a yell back. I came across a family on their way to Egypt Lake. There was an older boy in the lead, followed by two younger sisters and then dad. Dad was carrying the identical pack to mine, Osprey Aether 85 AG. The pack was completely stuffed and had two sleeping bags attached to the outside. My guess is that the pack must have been 70 lbs. They had stayed the previous night at Lost Horse Creek. We arrived back at the Park Canada Patrol Cabin in 2 hrs 5 min, covering 9 km.
We stopped for 20 minutes to have lunch at the Patrol Cabin, it was after all close to noon. I successfully defended my lunch from Volcano and we packed up and headed after a 20 minute break. We past a large group at the bike racks heading up to Shadow Lake. We started down the Redearth Creek Trail. Now heading downhill, our pace was very quick. I could feel Volcano charging forward pulling hard on the leash.
We arrived back at Lost Horse Creek CG and stopped to allow Volcano to have a long drink from Redearth Creek. The temperature was definitely rising as we descended. We came across a large group of hikers with small backpacks heading to the lodge at Shadow. After chatting for a couple of minutes we found that they were friends with a fellow teacher at my school. This same teacher’s name came up during my hike up the Sawback earlier in the summer. After 15 minutes we said good bye and we set out to finish our hike.
We ran into a older fella (I was thankful I was not the oldest person on the trail). He was super friendly and super old school. He had an extrernal frame backpack with a fur lined shoulder straps. He had driven 4 hrs to drop his car off at Sunshine Village parking lot. He then rode his bicycle up to Redearth Creek Parking Lot. His plan was to stay at Lost Horse Creek CG. Then hike to Balls Pass Junction before hiking to Egypt Lake and out to his car over Healy Pass. We wished each other a good day and headed off to continue our respective hikes. We came up to the gate at the parking lot 45 minutes later. Our Egypt Lake Epic was over.