Daily Miles: 19
2021 CDT Total Miles: 570
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2643
It was a cold night last night, but still it was a surprise when we woke up to a layer of snow on the ground and on our shelters. Before we left Many Glacier we had checked the weather report and it looked stellar, which made the snow even more of a shock.
When we got up this morning, we all put on the wind layer (pants and shirt) and the rain layer (pants and jacket). With mittens, a stocking cap and a buff, we were able to stay pretty warm as we headed out. The snow had pretty much stopped by then, and we hoped that the sky would clear up quickly.
Shortly after leaving camp, we saw some foot prints from a grizzly bear in the snow. Since the snow had only started a few hours earlier, we knew that the bear had been near the camp fairly recently.
We had about a mile of gentle climbing to start the day, which helped us to warm up, and then we had a big drop down to the valley. The walking was really good and the snow was melting quickly, so we didn’t really have any slippery trail to deal with. It was pretty to see the trees and surrounding mountains with a coating of snow on them.
Once we got to the valley floor, the rest of the walking for the day was fairly flat. The walking went pretty quickly and we made it to our designated campsite, Waterton, by noon. We set up our shelters and sat down for lunch and a bit of relaxation.
We wanted to go up to the Canadian border along Waterton Lake, which is the traditional northern terminus of the CDT. In the past, hikers would finish at the border and then walk into Canada to the small tourist town of Waterton Lakes. Unfortunately this border crossing is currently closed, so our only option with this terminus is to go to the border and then backtrack.
So, after lunch, we set off to hike the final four miles of the CDT to the border. The trail was a bit overgrown, but we had some nice views of the lake as we went. We finally got to the border monument which is right on the shore of Waterton Lakes. It is a spectacular site with the mountains going up right from the lake. The sky had cleared and we had a beautiful afternoon.
Beardoh had packed out the crowns from Burger King, so that he, MountainMan, and SweetPea would have crowns to commemorate their completion of the Triple Crown (AT, PCT, and CDT). We took a lot of photos and just enjoyed the beautiful afternoon.
Eventually, we decided it was time to head back to camp, so we backtracked the four miles to camp where we were already set up. We sat in the designated cooking area and ate the rest of our snacks and food for the day.
In so many ways, today felt like just another day on the trail. We still have a big day tomorrow to get out to the road where MountainMan’s mom will be picking us up. Maybe sometime it will really hit us that we managed to complete the Triple Crown, but really the thing that will stick with us about this trip is hiking with great friends through a beautiful part of the country.