Day 2 – Sept 2: Helmet Falls to Numa Creek “1:10 to Numa” (24 km; 1120 m ⇑, 1300 m ⇓)
After Dana’s very hearty trail breakfast of rehydrated hashbrowns, eggs, and delicious-smelling bacon, we got our lungs and legs warmed up with our first climb right out of the Helmet Falls campground. I think we got hiking around 9:00 that morning. We were huffing and puffing in no time.
We lucked out with another beautiful day and the smoke didn’t seem as heavy, which was great as we were treated to amazing views of the Rockwall once we got to the top.
Here’s where I sheepishly admit we had campsite reservations at the campground before Numa at Tumbling Creek.
We weren’t racing, but had a good pace going, and got to the Tumbling Creek campground around 12:00. Foolishly, Dana and I hadn’t brought much to read in camp at night, so with the whole day in front of us and energy to spare, we wondered what we would do for the whole day at Tumbling Creek. We stopped for a pack-off break and some food, and Dana refilled our water bottles.
We worried about having a tent pad if we continued to Numa that day (as our reservation was for Tumbling), but also knew if we stuck with our original plan and did Tumbling to Floe Lake, our planned third day might kill us with elevation gains and losses.
Instead we nearly killed ourselves on our second day! We loaded up our bags and carried on up the mountain over to the Numa campground. The climb was spicy! I was so thankful the temperature wasn’t too much higher that day, as the elevation gain was intense enough on its own. The views were incredible though.
The elevation loss down to Numa was insane. I felt so bad for the hikers (going the opposite direction from us) climbing that hill. Dana and I delighted in finding wild strawberries on our hike down, but I’m pretty sure the hikers climbing up didn’t see anything… what a slog!
The last kilometer before Numa seemed extra long for both Dana and I as our feet were screaming and our bodies were aching. Dana was pretty quick to dump his bag and head for a dip in the icy cold creek! I took a little bath too and it was refreshing.
The cooking area seemed a bit larger at Numa and better suited for the number of campers. Dana and I ate an early dinner and then played a few rounds of rummy before heading to bed. I think we lasted until 9:30 amazingly!
Come back tomorrow to read about Day 3: Numa Creek to Floe Lake parking lot!