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6/6/2018 1:03 AM
 

Parking at the Madison Falls Lot: The undammed Elwha River has created new channels which washed out the Hot Springs Rd 3/4 miles ahead. 325' above sea level

 

Elwha River 4 years after the second dam, Glines Canyon, was removed, Elwha Dam was removed in 2011.  Salmon population not growing yet, and the two former resovior areas will take a while to reforest, but in 20 years, and I hope I am still here to see it, I think it is going to be amazing.

 

Switched from my Adidas to my White's before the by-pass trail.  Ankle's can't handle much, and the White's 10" leather keep my safe and in the outdoors.

 

By-pass trail around 4 islands the Elwha has created before you drop down to the Olympic Hot Springs Rd again.  Amazing old growth fir and cedar.

 

 

I hope the Ranger Station doesn't fall to neglect.  

 

Carrying 65.3 lbs. in my new Qui-Ya, Conner, and OKBv2, with an OVI/HPG belt to keep my pants up.  Let's see how far up I can get up, shooting for the meadow, and a black bear sighting would be a good omen with the new gear.

 

Temperate rainforest and I am alone on the trail, amazingingly peaceful amongst the giants, both standing and fallen.

 

I replenished my water on the way back here, as I went through three 40 oz. Hydro Flasks on the way up.  Need the canteen pockets to make access and storage easier on the move.

 

Took a lot of breaks hauling that heavy pack, loved the hypalon wing on the Conner, held my Hydro securely.  Sleeping bag on top never moved on me.  Would change from the crazy creek on the bottom to a contractor bag, with chair tied to the side of the pack for easier access during my breaks.

 

It has been a slog and a half, but this sign means I am close to the meadow.  Kept adding 30 minutes to my turn-around, 5x total, but it's gonna be worth it!

 

Finally out of the forest, blue-sky day in the Olympics is hard to beat.

 

A buck and doe didn't even flinch as I passed at 50 yards.

 

One of the two goals for the day, Olympics in early June with snow.

 

He's far away for my mobile camera, but seeing the black bear with my first Qui-ya hike kept me picking 'em up and putting 'em down for 7 hours.  This is at 4481', time to turn around and race the sun (at a turtle's pace)

 

This weekend I will take my oldest daughter with just the Conner Pack and OKBv2, and I will get to the top of this hill, and walk the ridge to the Hurricane Hill peak at 5757'.  My map tells me that's 4.5 miles further than the 19 I did on this trip. 

 

I finished just before midnight, the last 2 hours using my headlamp.  Was passed at the end by 3 endurance runners who ran the Hot Springs Rd., and a young couple who walked it.  Too tired for pictures of the night sky or the river at night, but both were amazing!  Biggest lessons for me are more calories in the pack, back-up power to my phone (it died 2 hours before I reached the car), and a better filtration system for water.  Will add canteen holsters, medium and small pockets, and a tool roll to my gear soon.  Liking the bino pouch I saw as well.  Need a better solution for my kukri, which came in handy for several large branches on some old growth blow-downs I needed to traverse.  Overall nearly 14 hours on trail pushed me physically and mentally with that heavy pack, but I learned a lot about all my gear.  Seeing one of my favorite trails again, made for a perfect day, looking forward to doing it with a light Conner though for sure! (Cue the Last of the Mohican’s Theme) Thx LB

 

 

 
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6/6/2018 9:29 AM
 
That is a full pack and a full day. Any reason you are running 3 hydroflasks? Why not overnight, as you were in a beautiful spot if I am thinking of the right trail.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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6/6/2018 10:35 AM
 
My original plan was to hang my MSR 10L dromedary bag inside the Qui-ya, but decided to go with the hydro flasks, as I could keep the weight more constant throughout the hike, and also not have an opportunity to dump 22 lbs. if I was too tired or something weak minded like that. I would have dumped all 10L on my head at one point in the climb for sure. That was my thinking anyway, as this was primarily a conditioning exercise. I did have a 1.5L bag in the car as well, that I waffled on bringing or leaving. It's coming with me next time. On the overnight question, yes there are tons of great spots, but I had a kayak outing planned on Hood Canal the next morning, and I was also out of food(my mistake there). I was messaging back and forth with my wife on my Garmin, she was in Florida kayaking with our three daughters, and she had the same question as you; why didn't I just pitch my tent instead of risking an ankle roll in the dark with a heavy pack on. She grew up camping all over the ONP, but I guess stubborn equals stupid in my case on that one. One note on not being completely stubborn, in my defense I did use trekking poles for the first time based off of the videos and advice here. They surely extended the distance I made, and helped my balance downhill, especially when traversing the larger blowdowns that didn't have good walk arounds. I would have been face down on several of those for sure.

Initial assessment of the HPG is that the Prairie belt and shoulder harness are Fing genius, the Qui-ya is a beast, the Conner pack in pocket mode in this use case, rocked, and the KB is Fing genius and invaluable (not sure how it took me so long to find you guys). I told my wife you're the White's of packs (without the weight of course), and she is excited to use the Conner as soon as she can. Impressive quality combined with outstanding functionality. I am a satisfied customer!
 
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6/18/2018 1:24 PM
 
That is indeed quite the hike! You'll get your gear more and more dialed in as you go along. When you go on a true overnight trip, definitely do the exercise afterwards of going through each piece of gear, weighing it, and then deciding if it makes the cut for next time.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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6/19/2018 1:17 PM
 
Definitely will Evan, but glad I put myself through the torture test. Really enjoy all of the gear you offer, and looking forward to see you expand the companies offerings.
 
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