Day 3 Sheep Camp Over the Pass to Happy Camp
We got up at 4:30 AM but didn’t make it on the trail till 6:18 AM.  The trail goes up hill slowly the first 1/2 mile to Sheep Camp over flow camp.  Just passed the cabin we had a fox cross our path.  
The trail then climbs steady. We stopped for a bit and found a few ripe blueberries.  The trail comes out on a small boulder field, a small hit of what was to come. We took a snack break here.
Then back in to the brush a very short bit.  Then the trail follows along a creek as you climb up to the scales.  You are out of the woods now. We found a nice sheltered spot to have lunch. At the scales it was very foggy and you could just see some bits on the ridge to the left.  
We hiked across the flat area of the scales through lots of water. This was the first area we really found much left from the gold rush.
Then you start up a snow slope to the base of the rubble field of the Golden Staircase. The snow was hard but you could dig in with your boots to get good footing.  The instruction we were given by the range was follow any route you want as long as you head up once you are on the staircase.  
It seemed like no time and we were at the false summit.
 We were greeted by a fellow hiker offering snacks.  A few more minutes across a snow field and then another scramble up a boulder field.  The back on to the snow.  The rocks were sticking out a few places and you have to be careful in the move off and on the snow. Near the pass you cross in to Canada.  It is marked with a big cube cain up high on the right.  I was barely showing in the clouds.  Next thing you know you are at the top of the pass.  The warming hut is on your left no far down the trail.  We almost walked by it in the fog. It was right above freezing and a wind was blowing about 15 mph, gusting a bit more.
We stopped in the warming shelter and had a hot drink and a big snack.  I changed hats from ball cap to a watch cap to descend down the other side.  We were on the snow for a lot of the way at first.  The report was 20% of the trail was covered with snow - it was a big 20%.I can see how the snow would be very soft and gaiters a necessary item on a sunny day.  The snow was firm enough to get good footing.
The scenery all around is great on this side.  Lots of great view of Crater Lake.  It looked so clear. There are lots of stream crossings but with good boots and planning a bit you could cross all the streams and keep your feet dry.  There were a few rock where you would have to step that had a few inches of water running over.  Lots of places the rocks were well placed to make it easy.
Happy camp has a big bear food building, a nice shelter, but no stove.  There are lots of tent platforms.
We had dinner and went to bed. It was raining lightly or maybe just a very heavy fog.
Chilkoot Trail Log
Friday, July 14, 2006