We started the day with mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs and hit the trail at 936 AM. It was going to be a pretty big day of hiking but we felt well rested after the previous hot day.
The hike from Tony’s Point to Inland Lake was fairly easy with only 200 m of elevation gain.
We were at Haywire Bay in no time and zipped through the campground. It costs $23/night to camp at this campground and it looks fairly nice.
The hiking around the campground is easy and a nice break from the ups and downs.
We made it to Inland Lake by 1145 AM (km 64) and decided to take a break. My pack felt fine starting out. It’s amazing how rest makes you feel so much better about things.
There is a campsite at Inland Lake and we stopped here for a 30 minute break to eat trail mix and pepperoni sticks that were left over from the first food allotment. There was no rationing involved!
Inland Lake is very pretty. There are two huts on the lake and we stayed in both of them last year. They are much smaller than the rest of the huts and more rustic but still great to get you out of the elements.
The hiking around the lake is really easy. It’s basically a flat gravel path.
We met up with our Swiss friends taking a break by the totem pole. We knew that once we passed them we would be getting to the hut first which was again important because we knew the bugs were bad at Confederation Hut.
The hiking up to Confederation Hut (600 m elevation gain) is fairly difficult. There are some more open sections like above and some really steep sections where you are scrambling up the trail and all you see is the dirt in front of you.
I was grunting and groaning a lot on this section of the trail. The kids were laughing at me because I was struggling a bit. I was literally climbing up the trail by digging my poles into the dirt and pulling myself up the trail.
We have a running joke from our Powell River canoe trip. Every time I would set the canoe down for a break they would say ‘we are ready whenever you are dad’.
Finally I had to stop and take a break. I didn’t take any breaks on the JDF trail. This section is that hard. My pack felt very heavy!
The above picture gives you some idea on the pitch of the terrain.
There were many times on the trail where the kids commented that we are average hikers. The truth is though we are far from average judging from various signs. We finally got to a sign that said 2 hours to Confederation Hut. We hiked it in 1 hour and 17 minutes.
More examples of just how well marked the trail is everywhere! We loved the km markers…every single one of them.
The last section of trail into Confederation Hut is pretty rugged.
Hut, hut!! We arrived at the hut (km 74) at 308 PM. We covered 18 km in 5.5 hours at a pace of 3.6 km/hr.
We were all very excited to reach the hut and check out the new digs (hut was new in 2016). The hut did not disappoint. Some friendly hikers left chocolate bars that we devoured instantly. And then I found coffee – score! It tasted amazing after all that hard work.
The hut is winterized and it’s fantastic! There is room for 8 to sleep up top and there is more space under the cabin, although that would be a bit claustrophobic.
Due to the age of the hut it hasn’t accumulated too much stuff (old pots etc.). This sort of appeals to my minimalist nature.
My hiking clothes were getting really smelly by this point so I washed my shirt and hung it to dry. I wanted to leave half my clothes behind because all the hot stuff seemed so unnecessary.
Marvin and Tabea arrived a couple of hours later and we all enjoyed swimming in the beautiful Confederation Lake. Good thing they are European because we were all swimming in our underwear ;).
The kids had fun catching and playing with the frogs.
In the evening we made a really tasty dinner and shared some chocolate with our Swiss friends. I was focused on finishing my book and leaving it behind so I could shed some weight. The kids were excited to play cards with our new friends. We taught them how to play a card game called Golf and they taught us Gempsh.
There was a lot of laughing and fun at Confederation Hut. Marvin and Tabea were probably 22 but they were super mature and just reaffirmed my love for Switzerland…really nice people!