This hike was the only hike I’ve ever done where I was genuinely scared.
The majority of the hike was wonderful. A bit of switchbacks in the trees, then beautiful meadow views, then a bit of snow traversing (thankful to have my ice axe with me on this one). It was only when I had to scramble up a large boulder field - the last little bit of the hike - and the visibility dropped to about 20 feet that I became truly scared. I could no longer see my objective and I had no idea of knowing if I was even going the right way. Plus, while I love a good scramble, doing it with a big overnight pack was not fun whatsoever. And all of this was alone.
After one particularly butt-clenching scramble where I almost fell backwards, I sat down and had a good ol’ fear-induced cry. I mumbled, “I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this” to myself a few times, but that quickly changed to, “Get up, keep moving, you’re almost there, come on” except there was definitely some profanities in there. I got up, kept going for another 20 minutes, and arrived at the fire lookout almost in tears again - this time of happiness. I quickly changed into some warmer gear, got a hot drink going, and read a natural history book while curled up in my sleeping bag.
While the weather report called for a clear night and morning, it didn’t happen. The clouds stayed all throughout the night and I woke up to snow falling. Thankfully, it didn’t stick and I was prepared for the cold temperatures, despite it being late June. I was pretty bummed about the lack of views because they were supposed to be really spectacular. Ah well, it just means I have to come back again to see it properly.