The plan was a loop route over Gardiner Pass, through Gardiner Basin, Sixty Lakes Basin, the back to the main trail at Rae Lakes. Unfortunately, my altitude issues* reared up, and I wasn’t able to eat, and lost too much energy by the time I was on the west side of Mount Gardiner. So, I made the painful decision to turn around and head back the way I came.
A blessing in disguise?
On the way back on the unmaintained trail from Gardiner Pass to Charlotte Lake, I saw the sky beginning to light up. So instead of continuing on, I found a small deer bed on the side of a very steep mountainside, set up a cowboy camp (too steep for my tent), and waited for God to paint the sky.
And oh, did He ever!
*I’ve come to conclude that too much elevation gain in one day coupled with high altitude may be causing me issues with being able to eat (and thus take in much-needed calories). But honestly, after reading all sorts of opinions online, I don’t think I’ll ever pinpoint it. And that’s okay, because I’ve had some wonderful, unexpected blessings along the “Plan B” trails in life.
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