Oliver woke up to the sound of an animal sniffing around our tent. The women camping nearby also reported the same thing, so we assumed it was a porcupine which had been reported to be in the area and frequent visitors to the campground. I also woke up to my pack falling over in the vestibule, which I had to prop back up as it had been hailing with freezing rain throughout the night.
We were up around 7am for breakfast and chatted with a few folks. Taking pictures of the sunrise on the mountains was a challenge as there were a group of young women skinny dipping in the lake nearby.
With our packs ready to go, we set out for Wolverine Campground. The path went up almost immediately and I was in shock as I understood we had a nice easy exit from the campground to warm up, but we were straight into the climb up Numa Pass. It was tough to get up the switchbacks, but felt easy compared to the climb ahead with Tumbling Pass.
On the descent down Numa, my knee was getting sore again, so I strapped on the knee brace, which I found helpful. It was also helpful, mentally, for me to understand that we were on the Numa Pass ascent itself and not an extra climb before the pass, which Oliver had mistakenly told me when he looked at the map. I was worried as I was quickly running out of gas on the climb and thought I still had to do Numa Pass and Tumbling Creek. It didn’t feel doable. Once the correction was made, I felt better. There was only one more climb to do, which felt manageable.
The long descent took us to Numa Creek Campground. There was a pile of scat on the way to the campground and no more. There was a young woman staying at the campground and she was using it as a base camp for other day hikes. We stopped for lunch and the trail running family from Floe Lake arrived after us. They were going as far as Tumbling Creek where they were ending their weekend trip.
We continued on and began the climb to Tumbling Pass. The climb was terrible. That’s an understatement. There was lots of incline through overgrown alder trees. One SOBO hiker we met along the way lost his bear spray in the tangle on his way to Numa Creek. It wasn’t surprising as the branches snagged our packs.
The final climb was steep and we walked sideways up the hill. Once we reached the top, we had a beautiful view of the famous Rockwall. The teenagers from the trail running family caught up to us at the pass and we walked with their mom for the descent into Tumbling Creek where I decided I was not prepared for a third climb to Wolverine Pass. We were also warned of a mother bear with two cubs on the trail out of Tumbling Creek to Wolverine Pass and we didn’t want to encounter them. Giving them time to move on felt like the best move. That meant added 3km to the next day, but was smart. We set up camp at Tumbling Creek and quickly fell asleep.