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Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 2:58 pm
by Stanley Otter
WD: Those are some shivery photos... Did you do a lot of winter camping/climbing? I read some of the ski touring posts in other parts of the HST Forum, and it sure seems interesting but I have no experience. I love cross-country skiing, but making camp at the end of the day seems a formidable undertaking.

Lumbergh21: I know where you are coming from -- this hike is part of my great Leave of Absence & Walkabout 2019. I gave up my teaching job for half of this academic year and started the delicate negotiations with my beloved spouse a year or so before I started. I didn't hike the southernmost 80 miles in Washington, but I can highly recommend the rest with the exception of the section between Snoqualmie Pass and Chinook Pass (more on that later). Good luck with your decision.

The Other Tom: You're welcome. I get so much from this forum, so I am happy to contribute when I can.


Stehekin to Snoqualmie Pass
July 10-21
This section of the PCT passes through two glorious wilderness areas: Glacier Peak Wilderness and Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Each of them is worthy of deeper exploration than passing through on the main trail, and I hope to do just that some day because I really wasn’t able to see much due to the weather on this visit. My best views of Glacier Peak, for example, came on days when I was 20+ miles away. My spirits reached their nadir during this period, and I seriously considered stopping and heading home. But I knew, I just knew, that if I did so the weather would clear and taunt me mercilessly from half a continent away. So I got wet and stayed wet…

July 10: Checked out of the lodge very early and walked the two miles to the Bakery for its “soft open” at 7 AM — a chance to sit around drinking coffee while chatting with some local folks and not having to rush through as part of the conga line that forms when the shuttle arrives for its fifteen minute layover. When the baked goods became available shortly before 8 AM, I inhaled a sticky roll the size of a salad plate. Went back for a cheese danish with berries. Left with a turkey & swiss sandwich and numerous mayo packets. All calorie rich and not nearly enough by my reckoning. But it was Real Food and quite welcome. By 9 AM the shuttle-full of us was hiking along Agnes Creek, gradually sorting ourselves out. I lagged to gather a few huckleberries along the way and because I was carrying eleven days of food in a bear canister… Several tributary streams had log footbridges, but we had to fend for ourselves crossing Agnes Creek itself about twelve miles in. I walked across a high log about four feet above the water. That seemed like a good idea at the time until my legs started trembling with the tension and the weight halfway across — I get the willies thinking about it now. It started raining in the early afternoon and continued through the evening. Camped southeast of Bannock Mountain at 4300’. 2 miles to the Bakery plus 15 miles through the woods.

July 11: Wrung my shirt out as best I could and started my day. Decided to stay high on Miner’s Ridge just west of Suiattle Pass to visit Image Lake and get some views of Glacier Peak. Met Russ, a retired NPS ranger, who volunteers as caretaker of the fire lookout tower (No. 4250 in case you are lookout-spotter) on Miner’s Ridge and of the sensitive areas around Image Lake. There is some very nice non-standard signage around the lake and Lady Camp, the stock camp nearby, that I am sure is Russ’s doing. We had a nice long talk about all sorts of things including the trail conditions along Agnes Creek as they pertain to stock since he was planning a trip with his wife and her new horses. Then it was the small matter of a 3400’ descent to the Suiattle River — oh, my knees — who thought hauling sixteen pounds of food (again) was a good idea? Idiot. 18 miles.

July 12: Before starting out, a college-age woman I had met a bunch of times over the past few days asked me to keep her location secret from a certain trail-bro who had been giving her unwanted attention on trail and in camp. She had lost track of her own “tramily” some time ago and was hiking solo while she tried to reconnect. I cannot imagine what enduring those episodes must be like, and I was sorry she had to deal with him. Mum’s the word, and I am off to climb 3700’ onto the suitably named Vista Ridge of Glacier Peak with good views of Miner’s Ridge and some of the glaciers up higher on the slopes. Skies cleared a bit on the 2700’ steep, brushy descent to Milk Creek where I met up with some other familiar faces. We hadn’t seen flat ground in a while and weren’t likely to in the near future, so I suggested we all just pitch our tents on the rather new, wide bridge across the creek. (It seems the crossing has been relocated downstream about 350’ vertically from the old, more direct route — probably good safety or annual bridge repair reasons for that.) In the end, we all trudged up another 2000’ over 3.5 miles to Mica Lake, which was still partially frozen over. I ended up camping right next to the trail-bro, and, yeah, he was a dick. 20 miles.

July 13: Some good views early from Fire Creek Pass, but then the clouds rolled in and the trail descended into the woods. My pace was dragging from my efforts the day before and I was not sure about water and camping opportunities up on the high ground surrounding Red Pass and White Pass, so I pitched my tent in the meadows east of White Chuck Cinder Cone. Tried drying some stuff but clouds and fog rolled in after a few minutes. Only 16 miles, and, though I didn’t realize it at the time, by stopping early I lost contact forever with some of my fellow hikers.

July 14: Fog enshrouded Red Pass in the morning. I believe I wept. Then Cabbage motored by and cheered me up with a few words of encouragement. And what did I have to be sad about? Some missed views? He had been diagnosed with scurvy at the hospital in Chelan and was bookin’ it to catch up with the crew he had been with since Campo. I caught up with him again at lunch south of White Pass where he was prepping his bowl of boiled Fritos — he still couldn’t swallow anything textured for the pain it caused. The skies gradually cleared some, and I eventually made camp at Pear Lake. 23 miles, mostly because I wanted to get to Stevens Pass tomorrow in time to eat din-din at the restaurant and enjoy breakfast there again the next morning. Oh, foolish boy…

01 Typical tributary to Agnes Creek.jpg
02 Sitting Bull Mountain .jpg
03 View east on Miner's Ridge.jpg
04 Signage at Image Lake.jpg
05 Image Lake.jpg
06 Suiattle River from Miner's Ridge.jpg
07 Mica Lake.jpg
08 Between Red & White Passes.jpg
09 Not an owl after all.jpg
10 Indian Head Peak.jpg
11 Glacier Peak.jpg
12 Pika.jpg

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 5:58 pm
by Stanley Otter
July 15: Overcast and drizzle all day. Many day hikers at Lake Valhalla in the Henry M Jackson Wilderness, and finally even the locals seemed sympathetic regarding the weather. Arrived at Stevens Pass after the ski resort restaurant closed. Woe is me. Gigs (shortened version of full trail name Giggles [you can do that?!]) saved my soul with a slice of pizza from a place in Skykomish. Spent the night on the porch with a roof overhead. Security lights came on at 10:30 PM and stayed on all night… 18 miles.

July 16: Turns out the “restaurant” is just a coffee and snack bar. All that fantasizing and salivating for naught. Pouted, ate a breakfast burrito, and then hiked onward. Overcast but no rain all day. Some of the lakes along the PCT in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness have a dramatic setting, while others look like they would be at home here in Wisconsin. Camped at Glacier Lake where the mosquitoes were out in force. 14 miles.

July 17: Cold and wet hike with no views. Skipped option to visit Marmot & Jade Lakes at Deception Pass. Maybe next time. Set up camp at Deep Lake. Took me three hours to warm up. Hiking shirt and pants are starting to rot — the wave of ammonia that fills the tent in the morning when I shake them out is overpowering. Good Times. 15 miles.

July 18: Tried drying some things in the wind, but still miserably wet when I put them on. Partly sunny throughout the day with some nice views climbing out of the Waptus Lake valley. Made camp in a sudden rain shower at the headwaters of the Cooper River and saw Cabbage go striding by in the new trail runners he picked up in Skykomish, still in pursuit of his crew. Never saw him again. Rained for hours. 14 miles.

July 19: Finally a mostly sunny day with nice views from the ridges. The day’s hike was essentially a 7 mile 2200’ descent followed by a 7 mile 2200’ ascent; i.e., nothing too strenuous. I had been neglecting my stretching exercises because I had been so cold and often confined to the tent. As a consequence, my knees were really starting to ache on both ascents and descents. Well, it might also help to take a zero day. Anyway, after setting up camp in the Park Lakes Basin, I made a point of getting the Tyvek sheet out and doing a proper job of it, particularly the ol’ IT band. 14 miles.

July 20: This! This is what I have been wishing for! A bright cloudless day from start to finish with spectacular views all day long. I was surprised by the sudden view of Mt Rainier still 70 miles or so to the south. Whoa. (No exclamation point: rather, imagine Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, that’s who I’m channeling.) Then I turn around and see Glacier Peak, a similar distance to the north. Whoa. What’s also “whoa”, but with a slightly different meaning, is the tread — rocks, gravel and boulders for 15 miles. I’m glad I had real hiking boots — there was plenty of grumping from the young set later in the day about the inadequacies of trail runners whilst under load in terrain like that. And I’m glad I did my stretching, else my knees would have completely given out. Made my way into “town” at Snoqualmie Pass and had a huge salad, a juicy burger, and a hoppy beer at the Commonwealth restaurant. Dee-lish. I bought a supply of Rainier Tallboys and headed back to the trailhead where I intended to spend the night. I shared the beers with my “tramily” as they came down the mountain — Redvine (a Twizzlers-loving Belgian with a fine-tuned sense of humor), Gigs, Animal, Cheeks (because he likes to moon people), Ty-By and Cactus Cooler whose dad showed up with supplementary beer and fresh veggies. Now those are real Good Times. 15 miles.

July 21: Zero day! Veggie omelet at the Summit Inn Pancake House. Inquire at the front desk about my resupply package and using the laundry while I wait for check-in time. Early check-in granted — sweet! A hot shower. Laundry. Soak in the hot tub. Sort food. Homemade tamales from the gas station for lunch. Deep clean the cooking gear. Take another shower with my sleep pad and Tyvek sheet. Beer at Dru Bru and more tamales for supper. Good weather forecast for the next week. Life is good.

01 Lake Valhalla.jpg
02 Stevens Pass.jpg
03 Florence Lake.jpg
04 Trap Lake.jpg
05 Somewhere north of Deception Pass.jpg
06 Summit Chief Mtn.jpg
07 Spectacle Lake.jpg
08 Box Ridge and one Park Lake.jpg
09 Joe Lake Mt Thomson & Huckleberry Mtn.jpg
10 Alta Mtn & Mt Rainier.jpg
11 Glacier Peak.jpg
12 Joe Lake.jpg

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:47 pm
by torpified
This is very awesome! I keep looking at the [Keanu voice on] "Whoa" picture of Rainier, and thinking "how can that possibly be?"* I can't imagine what it must have been like to see it in real life, after so much persevering. Thanks for giving me occasion to try!

*I have a similar reaction to the picture of the beast that isn't an owl. Is it some kind of ptarmigan? And how did you manage to escape alive??

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:21 pm
by Stanley Otter
torpified: I know, right? Topographic prominence really helps Rainier "pop". I'm not sure what the beast's official name is. We in the midwest would call it a prairie chicken and leave it at that, am I right? I am going to have to ask a friend of mine who is an ornithologist to help bring some specificity to the problem. How did I escape? Why, my friend the Stalwart Marmot was just down the trail looking out for my wellbeing...
The Stalwart Marmot.jpg
I am intrigued by the fresh perspective implied by the C4 rotation of your avatar with respect to the usual orientation...

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:40 pm
by Stanley Otter
Snoqualmie Pass to Sourdough Gap
July 22-24

Simply put, Your Correspondent does not recommend this part of the PCT unless you want to hike it for completeness. Most of it passes through “working” portions of Snoqualmie and Wenatchee National Forests, and the part that ought to be a gem, the Norse Peak Wilderness, burned hot and hard in 2017. I mean, does this really look like a great place to hike?
01 Working Forest.jpg
July 22: Up early for one last luxurious shower and another tasty omelet at the Summit Inn Pancake House. Relatively lightly loaded with a modest nine days worth of food, albeit still in the bear canister. Eventually left the noise of Interstate 90 behind and entered the forest, nibbling on the occasional cluster of blueberries. Met up with Gigs, Animal and Redvine who I was determined to keep pace with for the next three days. Everyone did the HYOH thing during the day and met at a predetermined camping spot for the restful hours. Bright sunshiny day, which I would have liked further north where the scenery was better. Much of this area was logged some decades earlier and planted with spruce (?) — it just looks wrong, monoculture and all that. Some of the logging roads have become overgrown while others still see some 4WD traffic. Elevation changes on a given stretch of trail are small, but they are very steep. Camped near a spring where ten or so of us lined our tents up along an old road cut. Lots of snorers overnight. 22 miles.

July 23: More great weather for less than inspiring surroundings. Fresh clearcuts visible across some of the valleys. It sure looks like there are camping pads along the roads where trees have been cut down to improve the view of motor campers. Stopped for the day near Urich Cabin at Government Meadow but elected to pitch my tent despite some cold and damp late in the afternoon. After my experience earlier this summer sleeping in the shelters along the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I vowed to forego further shared sleeping opportunities until further notice. 24 miles.

July 24: Morning overcast as I entered the extensive Norse Peak Wilderness burn area. The lack of canopy gave the wildflowers an opportunity to thrive. There were veritable carpets of lupine in bloom, and the multicolored displays on the rocky slopes west of Martinson Gap were quite vibrant. Mt Rainier made various appearances on the approach to Sourdough Gap, where I hiked down to Sheep Lake for a last night on the PCT before my planned diversion to the Wonderland Trail. Gigs, Animal and Redvine arrived a bit later and we said our goodbyes over supper. I gave Gigs a pile of chocolate bars and Clif bars — she was running low and I was due for shorter hiking days and a resupply in Longmire in less than a week. Happy to pay her back for saving me from despair with that slice of pizza back at Stevens Pass. They took my number in case we all ended up in the Sierra contemporaneously later in September when I would have the family minivan and could play sag wagon. (It didn’t happen. But after my second Great Western Divide hike [Trail Reports forthcoming] I did give a ride to Snacks and her spouse Fancy [more commonly known in togetherness as Fancy Snacks] from Mammoth Lakes to Devils Postpile for their final six day leg of the PCT. During conversation on the way up the mountain, we discovered our mutual acquaintanceship of Gigs. Small hiking world, indeed.) I also apologized in advance for my disruptive early morning departure on the morrow. 21 miles.

02 Foxglove.jpg
03 Ollalie Meadow.jpg
04 Roadcut Campground.jpg
05 Mt Rainier.jpg
06 Monoculture.jpg
07 Cleared Camping Pad.jpg
08 Lupine.jpg
09 Wildflower Display.jpg
10 Placer Lake.jpg
11 Mt Rainier.jpg
12 Sheep Lake & Mt Baker.jpg
edited to correct my confusion between Adams and Baker :rolleyes:

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:17 pm
by Lumbergh21
I believe that the bird is a grouse.

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:42 pm
by Stanley Otter
Lumbergh 21: Thank you, that helps.


The Wonderland Trail — Mt Rainier National Park
July 25-August 1

Summary judgment (fair warning, I offended a hiker friend of mine who loves the WT when I shared this with him): The north and east sides are worthy of a three or four day backpack — the rest, as those cool kids I got to know on the PCT say, is PUD (pointless up and down) whose highlights are better suited to targeted day hikes or, better yet, Wilderness Zone camping (which you cannot combine with the WT). The thing is 93 miles long and not very much of it is above the dang tree line due to the topographic realities of a volcano covered in glaciers with high ridges and deep valleys carved by said glaciers and their runoff streams. In particular, the twenty-plus miles on the south side from Indian Henry’s to Indian Bar is a long green tunnel with a single observation window at Reflection Lakes. I *like* walking in the woods, but still… Nevertheless, it is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

July 25: I had tried and failed to secure a permit of any sort in the annual lottery exercise. So I awoke at 4 AM and a half hour later I was hiking back up to Sourdough Gap in the dark using a headlamp. There is a use-trail that drops over the ridge above Upper Crystal Lake and joins an established trail that descends 2900’ to Hwy 410. My knees survived this largely intact, and then it was a 1.5 mile or so sprint to the White River Entrance Station and a chance at a walkup permit. I arrived at 7:15 AM and was fifth in line for the 7:30 AM open. I did get a permit, but due to dilly-dallying by those ahead of me in making their precious plans, the reasonable itineraries had been awarded to others getting their permits elsewhere in the park. By tonight I must make my way to Forest Lake. (Where, you ask? Look it up… Off the WT two miles north and 1000’ down from Sunrise. Ugh.) And tomorrow will require a 19 mile saunter across the north side of Rainier to Cataract Valley. On the other hand, the next day would entail a mere five miles of hiking to Eagle’s Roost. But, hey, I got a permit for the whole blessed loop…

Second breakfast on the side of the road. Hiked up the road to the Fryingpan Creek trailhead where I officially joined the WT. Eventually made my way up to Sunrise, some 3000’ up from the low point back on Hwy 410. Lots of clean people. The concessionaire wanted $8 for a can of “craft” beer. WTF? Nope. Lunch. Views. Visitor center. Then down to Forest Lake which is a crummy little mud puddle where the sun is obscured by clouds of mosquitoes. Slept like the dead for 10 hours. 16 miles.

July 26: Up to Sourdough Ridge, over to Berkeley Park, down Granite Creek and across the Winthrop Glacier moraine, up to Mystic Lake, down Moraine Creek alongside Carbon Glacier, across Carbon River, and finally up to Cataract Valley. A long and glorious day. 19 miles.

July 27: Rained overnight and well into the morning. Forecast was for clearing later and I really, really, really, really, really wanted to see Spray Park and my permitted site was only five trail miles away, so I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. Garmin inReach forecasts are generated by blindfolded chimps throwing darts at charts connected electronically to my expensive subscription; i.e., they are worthless. It didn’t clear, so I camped off-permit in Spray Park rather than descending to Eagle’s Roost. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, and I know all the reasons I shouldn’t have done it. But this possibility was why I had lugged that damn bear canister over 400 miles and not sent it home. Good thing, too, because five minutes after leaving the trail I spied a bear in the distance. I wandered up toward Echo Rock and Ptarmigan Ridge for a mile or so and made camp. I woke once in the middle of the night to heed nature’s call. The skies had cleared and the Milky Way shown brightly across the sky overhead and laid out horizontally off to the west were the yellow sodium vapor lights of the Seattle metro area, also shining brightly. Amazing. 4 miles.

July 28: Wandered about Spray Park for a few hours in the morning sun. Then had to book it down 4600’ to South Mowich River (oh, my knees — have I mentioned my knees before?) and then 2500’ up to Golden Lakes. About 14 miles of long green tunnel. Shared my site at Golden Lakes with two father-son teams from Virginia who were camping off-permit. See! See! I wasn’t the only one! (He says defensively). 17 miles.

01 Upper Crystal Lake & Mt Rainier.jpg
02 White River & Mt Rainier.jpg
03 Emmons Glacier.jpg
04 Huckleberry Basin.jpg
05 Berkeley Park.jpg
06 Carbon Glacier.jpg
07 Spray Park at sunset.jpg
08 Observation Rock.jpg
09 Flett Glacier & Observation Rock.jpg
10 Spray Park in morning sun.jpg
11 Mt Rainier from Spray Park.jpg
12 Mist Park.jpg

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Sat Dec 21, 2019 7:10 pm
by torpified
Stanley Otter wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:42 pm
Summary judgment ... The thing is 93 miles long and not very much of it is above the dang tree line due to the topographic realities of a volcano covered in glaciers with high ridges and deep valleys carved by said glaciers and their runoff streams. In particular, the twenty-plus miles on the south side from Indian Henry’s to Indian Bar is a long green tunnel with a single observation window at Reflection Lakes. I *like* walking in the woods, but still… Nevertheless, it is jaw-droppingly beautiful.
I took a lap on the Wonderland in Sept 2018, and was also surprising/disappointed by just how much of it was contemplative forest walking. Between that and the weather, I spent the first half of the walk genuinely curious whether I'd ever manage to see the mountain I was circling. The last half, I lucked into hours of walking above treeline and in sunshine, and my head nearly exploded.

Stanley Otter wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:21 pm
I am intrigued by the fresh perspective implied by the C4 rotation of your avatar with respect to the usual orientation...
I thought of it as SO(2), although I concede that a single avatar doesn't settle the question. Still, you may be giving me more credit for discretion than I deserve!

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:20 am
by Stanley Otter
torpified: Glad you got some sun and views. I wonder if we could build an avatar history function into the forum. Or maybe animated GIFs for avatars so pressing questions like ours can be answered.

the penultimate installment...

July 29: Bad night for sleep. One son owned a cheap, leaky air mattress of the sort that made a lot of noise when he rolled over. Every 20 minutes he’d get up and wrestle with the thing and reinflate it. In the morning, one father used my duct tape for a shoe repair. The other father used my toilet supplies because his son beat him to the privy and consumed all they had left. These people are getting their second resupply at Mowich Lake today. Fun to interact with them, though. Up to Sunset Park where I went hiking off-trail and quickly discovered an old unmaintained trail that led higher into the park and some more astounding views of Rainier on the high ridge between South Mowich River and North Puyallup River. At one point, I came over a short rise and there was a small bear right in front of me, maybe 20’ away. We backed up from each other and went about our individual pursuits. I had to make my way around the bear again on the way back down. Good views too from Klapatche Park and St Andrews Lake. Finished with a knee-unfriendly 1800’ descent to the South Puyallup River site. 15 miles.

July 30: Hike up to Emerald Ridge (good views), down to Tahoma Creek (no decent views but a really big bridge), up to Indian Henry’s (good views), and then down, down, down to Longmire (a good view from the comfortably appointed veranda at the National Park Inn where I have two nights reserved). Got my resupply bucket from the ranger station. Showered in the teeny tiny closet off the main hall shared by those of us without private baths (after all, it is An Historic Inn). Laundry. Founder’s All Day IPA is only $3.25 a pop — heck of a deal, considering. Call home on the landline because there’s no internet or cell service (after all, it is An Historic Inn). 12 miles.

July 31: Hitched to Paradise — got a ride from a couple from France. I asked their opinion about Brexit and got two Gallic shrugs. Walked the Skyline Trail with superb views of Nisqually Glacier and Mt Baker to the south. Tried hitching on the return leg of my day trip but ended up hiking back down about six miles. Weather forecast at the ranger station shows sun tomorrow but rain the next day when I am supposed to be hiking the iconic stretch of trail from Indian Bar to Summerland. No vacancies at either site for tomorrow. Grrr. 11 miles.

August 1: Decide to make a run for the east side of the mountain while the sun shines. Asked at the front desk about taxi possibilities for shuttle to Box Canyon. No luck. I think they felt pity for me because shortly after I started hitching the inn van used to transport employees picked me up and dropped me near Paradise. Very nice. Road walked to Reflection Lakes and then picked up the trail and followed it down to Box Canyon where there was a detour around a stretch undergoing some maintenance. Long climb up to Indian Bar but well worth the extra effort getting there today. The Ohanapecosh River tumbles down the slopes above, and the trail stays above Ohanapecosh Park with views of the Cowlitz Chimneys to the east. Then another climb to Panhandle Gap in the late afternoon. This stretch from Indian Bar to Summerland reminded me strongly of hiking in the Sierra. I found the secret camping spot and gear cache rangers use near Summerland but thought it would be pressing my luck to stay there for my second off-permit night, so I found a moderately horizontal patch of ground off to the west. 21 miles.

August 2: Overcast and drizzle in the morning. A quick four mile scamper down Fryingpan Creek to the road — finished with the WT! Stuck my thumb out for a hitch to Chinook Pass. Within minutes Brad and Emma with baby Freya picked me up in their Ford Transit conversion and took me to Hwy 410. Minutes later Randy, transplant from Alabama now living in Oregon, took me to the Hwy 410/Hwy 123 intersection. Figuring I had used all my luck by that point, I just started walking the road up to the pass, but minutes later Linda stopped and asked if I wanted a ride. My goodness. Lots of day hikers out in the rain and fog at Chinook Pass. Flowers are lovely but the views are nonexistent. Chatted for a long time with a couple from Vancouver BC about hiking and canoe camping (a.k.a. portaging north of the border). Metatarsalgia had flared up in my left foot a few days ago and was now pretty uncomfortable — felt like walking on a marble with every step. Wearing myself out. 18 miles.

01 Bear at Sunset Park.jpg
02 Mt Rainier from Sunset Park.jpg
03 Mt Rainier & St Andrews Lake.jpg
04 Mt Rainier from Emerald Ridge.jpg
05 Mt Rainier from Indian Henrys.jpg
06 Nisqually Glacier at Paradise.jpg
07 Mt Rainier from east.jpg
08 Ohanapecosh River.jpg
09 Indian Bar.jpg
10 Cowlitz Chimneys.jpg
11 Mt Baker from Panhandle Gap.jpg
12 Chinook Pass.jpg

Re: TR: Washington PCT with Enhancements 6/22-8/8 2019

Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:01 pm
by Wandering Daisy
Great photos of Rainier (climbed it when I was 16 yrs old). I did this climb as well as Glacier Peak and Mt Hood in late May. On these big volcanoes (same as with Mt Shasta) you want to be on snow rather than the volcanic rock, which is really hard to walk on.

Winter is even more rainy! I did one year at UW and on the rare clear day Mt. Rainier was easily seen from campus. Most the time we just drove up above the clouds which usually ended at 5000 feet and enjoyed playing in the snow with a good view of Rainier.

I assume that the gravel I see in the photo of Ohanapachche River is Indian Bar. Does the PCT go there or were you on another trail.

People tend to underestimate the difficulty of the Cascades. Although the peaks other than the big volcanoes are around 9-10,000 feet, the valleys are very low elevations and elevation gains and drops are significant. Your mileages are pretty impressive, regardless of what the PCT hikers do.

What tent did you use and were you happy with it given the rain?