Philmont 2012 a look back Day 8

Day 8: Today I am the leader and our destination is Mt. Phillips Camp on top of Mt. Phillips. Not only was it an eight mile trip it was uphill the whole way. We even went outside the ranch’s boundaries for about 4 miles. I woke up with the adults and I have to admit that is was worth getting up 15 min. earlier because the sky was beautiful! There was a cloud right above our camp that was a bright pink color from the sun just getting over the horizon. The cedar trees were covered in dew and glistened in the morning sun. The air was so crisp and fresh it was unbelievable. I then go threw a mental checklist about the day so I could have a basic game plan.

The first step was waking everyone up, then filling our extra dromedaries because Mt. Phillips was a dry camp, so we had to bring in our own water. We had to go find the stream and fill up our water bottles then but the tablets into them before we ate breakfast and headed out. We followed the contour lines of the mountain all the way to the ranch’s boundaries until the trail started to go up. We saw the mountain from a ways away but it was so much bigger when you get close to it. We are forced to go at a slow pace because of the extra 8 pounds of water Ron and Robert were carrying. About a mile in is when the clouds that had gathered started to drizzle rain on us. We stopped and put on our raincoats and pack covers.

I discover my pack cover has a 2 inch rip in it, so I pull out my gear aid kit that Adam gave me and break out the duck tape for the first time. It stays on all trip and never had to replace it. We carry on trudging through the slight rain and slippery trials. We have to take breaks often and we quickly become very tired, but we soldier on! About two thirds of the way there we see another group come down the hill. This was the first encounter with other people in a long time. They said that the peak wasn’t that far away which gave us a small moral boost.  I kept singing songs in my head to keep busy when we finally see the peak.

The last 200 yards or so were the worst because we knew we were almost there but it was about 70% slope and all loose rocks. It took us 30 min. but we finally make it. We take our pictures and proceed to find a camp. We heard rumors about rock chairs at one of the camps and that was going to be our camp. We found it and the chairs were amazing. Who would have thought that rock would be so comfy, but it was. It takes hour to find the dang bear bag cable and latrine but we did eventually find it, along with some bear scat and us. Undeterred by the fresh poop, we set up camp and make dinner. We really didn’t get that much time in the chairs because by the time we had camp set up we were exhausted and just wanted to sleep. And we did right after we ate and did our usual nightly routine.

This is a continuation of my brothers trail diary of his Philmont Trip in the summer of 2012.  To read all of the previous posts you can find them here:

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