Today we started a little late, but given the fact that out boots had been frozen solid overnight, 7:30 wasn’t a bad start. It felt like trying to put wooden clogs on, and this despite keeping our boots inside our tent vestibule. Crazy cold. I would estimate that night got below -10 C. We decided that since Josh has hiked the last section of the day’s hike between Leslie’s Pass and Upper Injasuthi cave, he would take the navigational reigns for the day.
First things first, we head over to the summit of Champagne Castle. The air is clear and the views spectacular, we could easily see all the way to the Devil’s Tooth. It was amazing to contemplate the distance we’d covered, and this really boosted our morale. We knew we were going to make it.
As we reached the valley floor soon thereafter, we see an army chopper doing an exercise exactly where we had been on the summit just hours before. After Lunch by Injasuthi pass, we headed down the valley to where Josh knew the cave to be. Except that when we got there, he realised we were in the wrong valley. Frustrated with himself, he recounts to me how the last time he was there he found the cave in mist, and now in better conditions he had missed the valley. After consulting the GPS we headed in the right direction, just as a thick snow began to fall. I was quite happy with it, knowing that we were headed for the most sheltered of caves.
Finally we found our cave, and took shelter from the abating snow. Upper Injasuthi is a beautiful big cave, comfortable and with a view that could make the cover of countless coffee table books. Josh was still frustrated with his mistake, and as a penance went to fetch water. We both experienced down moments on this hike, but this was the only time I saw him frustrated the whole hike. I think our strength was being able to prop each other up in these moments.