Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 43 Mishaps and Equipment Malfunctions

Day 43
21 miles
July 2nd
PCT mile 840.5

I guess after 40+ days and 800+ miles, things are bound to wear out and it's quite likely you may have one of those days where it seems you're working against all laws of physics. I believe I have been ridiculously fortunate and hadn't had a day like that until today. Even more impressive I still managed to summit Muir Pass and pull off my highest mileage day in the Sierras yet.  

The biggest malfunction was my Sawyer filter bag broke. My filter works but the reservoir that holds unfiltered water is leaking, so 50% of the water is being filtered and the other half leaking out of the bag, I can't squeeze the bag because it makes it worse, it won't filter to gravity with my platypus bag and tubing because the leaks are not allowing enough pressure to push the filtered water through the tubing. If I filter into another container, the leaking water is dripping into my filtered water contaminating my clean water.

So what do I do??? Here are my options:

1. Repair bag with tape...already did...water and tape don't mix well

2. Ask another hiker if they have a back up filter bag or a smart water bottle. (The smart water bottle is compatible to screw onto the filter and use as a reservoir)...asked 2 hikers at Muir hut, no go and haven't seen anyone since.

3. Borrow someone's filtration at camp...no one else at camp but me.

4. Drink unfiltered water, I'm at 11,000 feet right now and the water is probably clean.

5. Contaminate my clean platypus system with unfiltered water (my bag is compatible to the filter) and give up the ability to drink from the system while hiking, making hiking and drinking simultaneously more then difficult. Note I do have a 1 Liter Gatorade bottle to store clean water.

Well when I got to camp I had no filtered water left and had to make a decision I had to hydrate and cook dinner. I really didn't what to chance not filtering water...though the water may be clean there is a lot of foot traffic through this section both with PCT hikers and JMT hikers...I would hate to have to deal with any GI issues on top of this. So I went with my last option, give up my drinking system while hiking and use my platypus bag as a dirty reservoir. It may make it more difficult to stay hydrated while hiking and it will be more time consuming to filter water, but I only have 3 days to suck it up and deal with it.

The other malfunction is my shoes my left worse then my right. They work just fine but the fabric has ripped leaving a huge hole on the top of my toe box...which gradually got bigger as the day progressed. I tried duct tape...again no go, too much dirt for the tape to completely stick, then I had to go through some streams making my shoes wet, so I couldn't try a better repair job at camp. Again let's pray they hold up for 3 more days.

Can they last 3 more days and 66 more miles?

Im sure I'm going to look like a complete mess by the time I see my dad, who knows what he's going to think!

Heading up to Muir Pass

Muir Hut at the top of the pass
Camp for the night at Wanda Lake, 2 miles down from Muir Pass

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