28 Jun, 2009 One Step at a Time
Woke up this morning and began packing gear for a ten day hike to Henrietta Nesmith Glacier. Interrupted by our first encounter of arctic hares.. right in camp, boy, are they huge. Brought our stuff down to the edge of frozen Lake Hazen, where Patrolperson Doug Stern, was waiting. He greeted us with a snowmobile and a sled to haul Carl and I 20 kilometers down the lake, to give us a great start to accessing the big glacier. Everything secured, we hopped aboard the toboggan for the ride. This would save us two days of hiking as our packs were already a lot heavier than we liked. But, at about the half-way point, Carl smelled something burning, not good. Doug brought the machine to a stop. The hard, clean ice had no snow on it, and the runners were starting to melt. Stop and go a couple more times, and that was it. We were walking from here. With our load off, Doug was able to head back to camp slowly, while Carl and I sat on the shore with all our gear, at least we made it part way. We loaded it all up and heaved, wow, this was going to be very hard work. We had each trained with 90 pound packs, but this wasn’t even close. We began our march slowly down the lake, pitched camp, and passed out.