I spent 6 days with the dog hiking around the 74km trail. It was actually my 5th time. This will be the last time I do the full trail with the dog though, as she is getting older and given the ruggedness, she will not be able to participate in the future.
I went in with about 37lbs (not as ultra-light as most here, but i'm working on getting the weight down).
Lowe Alpine Contour III 80L pack
North Face Tadpole 23 Tent
Wallcreeper PL expedition sleeping bag
Arcteryx Storm Shell
MEC Neoprene Polyester Jacket (very light very warm for cooler evenings)
Lowa Baffin Backpacking boots
Black Diamond Elliptical Hiking Poles
Merino wool t and Merino wool long sleeve t
Quick dry knickers (yes knickers, nice in-between shorts and pants, i had lightweight long johns to slip under if it got cool at night)
First Aid Kit
Canon PS A720IS Camera
15lbs Food (first day, ate about 2lbs per day)
The dog had her pack for kibble and treats & her booties for the rougher sections in the trail to protect her pads.
Day 1 5hrs
Got caught in the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Nothing major, just persistent light rain all day and that night. Discovered my tent fly needs some resealing.
Day 2 7hrs
Woke up clear skies, blue lake, an absolutely gorgeous day. It did not rain one drop the next five days (a first for me on this trail, i've always had a least two nights where it rained). Got going at about 9am and made second campsite my 4pm. Bumped into one individual taking 9 days, and a group of 4 taking 7. Stopped for lunch at one of the campsites on the way. When I reached my campsite for the night, I hung my bag to dry for a bit (the wallcreeper is amazing, it remains relatively warm, even when wet, and drys very fast). Went for a walk to the campsite about 1km further down and hung out with the party of four for a bit.
Day 3 - 7 hrs
Tough day. Down legendary Moose Pass (not of feint of heart). There's spots I help the dog down (as always, she only weighs 55lbs so it's on overly difficult, just need balance); she has a convenient handle on her pack. Lot's of scrambles, hikes over talus, and tricky descent into my campsite for the night with questionable footing (when in doubt get down on your butt). Absolutely amazing, I thrive on physical challenges, and this day did not disappoint. Clear skies that night, so I sat out on a rock an watched the stars.
Day 4 - 5 hrs
Tough hiking for first 3hrs and relatively easy going for the last 2hrs. Passed by Silver Peak, debated ditching pack and running up (I'm an avid trail runner) but decided against it as I've been up before, and I wanted to get to my site so I could enjoy the rest of the day. Clear skies again all day and night. Took some awesome shots.
Day 5 - 5.5 hrs
The hike starts off in forest, but quickly you come out into fields covered with quartzite boulder (not difficult terrain, but can be exhausting if you're not in shape, same distance two years earlier took me seven hours with a friend who doesn't get much excercise). Made campsite by 3pm, went swimming, the dog joined in.
Day 6 - 4.5 hrs
Got an early start 8am. Made it to 'the crack' (decent on large granite boulders down a fissure between two 180ft granite slabs) by 10am. Last 2.5 hrs is relatively easy hiking. Off the trail by 12:30am. Into town for a cheeseburger for myself and a hotdog for the dog (a nice treat after such a long hike for such a good hiking partner, it saddens me she will not be able to participate on lengthly more difficult hikes in the future, i'll do some shorter ones with her though)
for those interest in the pics. there's a plethora here at my flickr site: