Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
I didn’t end up going 24km today.
The first 4km of the hike was pretty easy, mostly flat. The views were spectacular; green mossy rocks, painted mountainsides, and hot springs spread throughout the hills. It wasn’t too cold, the weather was perfect for hiking. At first.
After I peaked the first mountain, the wind went from 0-100 pretty quickly. And it wasn’t just wind; it was 65 mph side wind with rain. I got soaked pretty quickly. All of my layers under my rain jacket, my pants, shoes, and socks were all completely drenched.
Luckily I wasn’t tired and was able to keep a good pace. I completed the first 12km of the hike in only 2 hours and 45 minutes (usually it takes people 3-5 hours to do this part).
I stopped at the first hut, which was halfway between where I started and where I wanted to end up. I was planning on just warming up, but after talking to the hut warden about the weather, I decided to stay.
I was already soaked, and if I had continued down to the next hut, I would have had to camp because the shelter there was fully booked. I planned to camp in my tent the whole hike, but it would have been absolutely miserable to arrive drenched, have to put up my tent in the wind and rain, and camp in a freezing and wet tent. Luckily the hut I stopped at for lunch had available spots, so I get to dry out my things and spend the rest of the day in a nice and warm hut.
Tomorrow I am planning on making up the distance I didn’t go today. Theoretically, I will still be camping at the same location I was initially planning on, I’ll just go farther tomorrow than I did today. It’ll be about 27km, but the warden says it’s doable, especially since I did the first 12km so fast.
Oddly enough, despite how awful it was trying to hike in strong winds while being drenched, I actually am enjoying myself. I get an unexpected warm night, talked to some fun people, and the warden has been really kind to me.
Don’t get me wrong, it will be not so fun tomorrow if it rains again and I have to set up camp while wet. However, I just have to keep in mind that I’ll be in my warm house within a week, so I should just try to enjoy myself while I’m here.