Sag River / by Caroline Van Hemert

The snowstorm of August 7th lingered on the peaks and ridges, making for difficult travel over loose scree as we climbed over a 6500’ pass.  This turned out to be a fitting day for our anniversary as we crested an impressive viewpoint and picked our way down to the glacier below.  Light footed on the ice and rock, we hadn’t expected to encounter winter again so soon.  That night, camped alongside the Sag River we woke to a curious shrike and a chorus of howls.  Five wolves bedded down on a bench above us, watchful as we ate breakfast around the morning fire.  Traveling over passes and along their drainages, we’ve found good and varied walking.  With light packs we can move quickly and are feeling strong, the mountains whipping us quickly into shape.  Yesterday afternoon we hit the dust of the haul road – it’s strange to see rumbling trucks after so many miles of wilderness.  Ducking under the pipeline we felt out for our resupply barrel, left out by friends on their way to go caribou hiking.  We gorged ourselves on the treats within (thanks Dan, Mom and Dad, Eleanor and Rich) and are ready for the next push to Anaktuvuk Pass.