Plus Aborted Section D
After the adventure and challenges of my GDT 2020 Section C hike I was keen to correct some mistakes and put the lessons learned into practice. For 2021 the plan was to hike Section D and E. Hiking Section D this year would be making up for when blisters convinced me to leave the trail after completing Section C in 2020. Hiking all the way to Jasper through Section E would allow me to experience almost entirely new sections of trail.
For entertainment I carried a book with me. Mikah gave me two books for my birthday so I brought along “You Look Like a Thing and I Love You,” a book about artificial intelligence, how it works and what it can and cannot do. It was written in a humourous style, making it a fun and easy read. When Mikah joined me he brought our bedtime readying, Carlo Rovelli’s “The Order of Time”. Mikah and I had both read Rovelli’s “Reality is Not What It Seems – The Quest for Quantum Gravity” and figured that this would be a great follow up read. It definitely lead to some interesting discussions and the understanding that there are no things, just long boring events.
What we/I Learned:
- 24 km off trail is significantly harder and slower than 24 km on trail (wow that’s a big surprise)
- When going uphill off trail, “follow the drainage”. This is the way we navigated up passes 4 and 5 on the Six Passes which were heavily wooded passes with no open slopes or obvious routes. Drainages always lead to the pass.
- Bear Canisters are simple and effective way of keeping food and bears safe.
- In the Rockies I prefer rain pants to a rain skirt and a rain jacket to a poncho.
- Umbrellas rock.
- If you know who will be picking you up after a long hike, leave them a bag of clean clothes and deodorant to bring with them for you to change into.
- Pack with a list so you do not forget anything. Forgot my orange fleece on my Section D attempt.
- Do not walk around a campsite in sandals without socks on. Lots of things you can stub your feet on and the socks will mitigate much of the potential damage.
- Know how to use any apps you are using. Guthooks has a feature where hikers can add notes to a point of interest which can give a bit more information on what lies ahead, or recent updates and opinions. I did know about the feature till the second last day of the hike when Mikah showed me. Would be nice if the Six Passes Alternative had some notes.
- Was happy that I was able to carry 11 days of food, hopefully in the future sections will be shorter but good to know can carry 11 days of food safely.
- Don’t stuff gloves deep in the backpack, keep accessible for when needed.
- Set up tent as soon as you arrive in camp. If it could rain and you do not set up your tent, it will rain.
- The Android version of the Guthook (Farout) app has more information on it than the Apple version.