The Trip 5 team has not provided details on their adventures. Trip leader Rich confirmed Saturday we can see their progress (Track the Hikers). At about 11:45 a.m. PT Sunday, Track the Hikers showed the Trip 5 team had been on the trail a little over two hours, was traveling at an average of 1.3 miles per hour, and was at an elevation of approximately 6,650 feet. This indicates all is well.
The Trip 2 team encountered rain at Snow Lake on Saturday. On the way to Snow Lake, they reported taking a quick break at the Jug Lake intersection and noticing a variety of fungi in the woods. Once they arrived at Snow Lake, their update included:
“After a late lunch and hot drinks, we have been forced into our tents by rain. Hoping we can dry out Sunday. Team worked like a well-oiled machine Saturday morning and afternoon as we packed and unpacked the llamas. Everyone in good spirits even with the rain, rain, rain. Lots of people interested in llamas Saturday. Llama Gina likes to smell each hiker as they pass by. Looks like she is giving them a kiss!”
Sunday, the Trip 2 team’s itinerary calls for a seven-mile hike to Sand Lake, where they will spend their last night before hiking their last approximately three miles to the White Pass trailhead. This year and last year, the Trip 1 team encountered terrible mosquitoes at Sand Lake.
More about the llamas
A unique part of the Pass to Pass experience is the llamas. They get a lot of attention from other hikers, and Pass to Pass hikers learn to care for the llamas and benefit from the pack assistance they provide.
Parkinson’s people who have had deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery may not be able to carry a full backpack because of where the DBS device batteries are placed near the collarbone. Pass to Pass Parkinson’s hikers may put up to 25 pounds of gear on a llama. Day to day, they carry in their backpacks things like: medication, the day’s lunch, the day’s water supply (1-2 liters), rain jacket, personal water filter, bathroom kit (toilet paper and trowel), and 10 essentials (for safety and emergencies). Parkinson’s hikers should not carry more than 15 pounds. Support hikers carry all their own gear. Llamas also carry their grain and community gear, which includes first aid kit, camp chairs, group water filter, sanitation station for hand washing, etc.
Oh, you may wonder: Why do the llamas wear masks? Masks prevent them from eating poisonous plants along the trail. Masks are removed when the llamas are in an area where they can safely graze.