The Last Training Hike: Seton S3

Last September, when I signed up to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro, I made a point of focusing on the little things through my training. Every walk, run, hike, heavy leg day, protein shake, carb load, blood sugar check, blood sugar correction, and so on was a calculated step towards the trip; even if I didn’t see it at the time. We’re almost 3 days away from leaving and I’m finally starting to feel ready.

I spent a little while reflecting tonight on all of my hikes over the last 9 months. Flipping through pictures made me realize I’ve come a long ways in terms of personal and physical growth. I’m more sure-footed on the trail, I’m well aware of my capabilities and limits, and most importantly, I’m more self-aware of how to manage my diabetes over different heights, distances, and conditions.

I was able to squeeze in one last hike over the past weekend which brought me to a new personal best in terms of altitude, close to 2700m in elevation. On Saturday night, a friend and I headed up the Duffey hwy to car camp and get an early start to Seton S3 on Sunday morning.

The weather looked a little grey as we made our way up the Downton Creek fsr on Sunday morning. With a few blue patches, we were feeling optimistic. We parked right beside the trail head, sorted through our gear and made our way up. Anticipating a bit of snow, I wore gaiters through the first creek crossing and took them off due to warm temperatures. We followed the road to it’s end and continued on the ATV track; the trail was completely clear of snow with a few muddy patches.

When we reached the meadows, we peeled off of the ATV track near the ridge to Statimcets Peak. I found this approach more steep than my first trip here. Slowly and steadily, we switch-backed up the meadows until we gained sight of our ridge.

First view of our ridge from the road:

Heading up from the end of the ATV track:

First view looking back:

Views along the ridge:

We skipped going directly to the high point on the ridge and went to the furthest end ahead of us.
I thought the views here were more outstanding than the high point:

DSC00169 DSC00179

You can’t really tell, but I’m happy to be here!

Approaching the high point:

Views from the high point:


Google Earth images:

Seton S3 Google Birds Eye
Seton S3 Google 3D

Elevation Profile:

Seton S3 Elevation Profile

Aside from a few steps, we were able to avoid stepping in snow. For a brief moment, we experienced a bit of snow fall at the high point; we didn’t stick around too long and made our way back down quickly. The creek crossings were higher on the way back and we both got our feet wet (I believe my boots are still drying). My blood sugars were steady all day and I found myself eating a lot more than I normally do while hiking. The higher altitude was generally easy to deal with. I had another amazing day in the area and I can’t wait to spend more time there.

Only 3 more days until I leave for Kilimanjaro, 4 more days until I meet our team, and 5 days until we begin our trek. I’ve received an abundance of support from friends and family and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the encouragement. Wish us good blood sugars, good health and good weather!!

– Ash

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