Tuesday, September 8, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 134-143 (8/23-9/6) (miles 2,590-2,650) The Final Chapter

After some wet weather helped suppress the various fire threats, access to the PCT was reopened allowing me to complete the last 60 miles of trail from Rainy Pass to the PCT northern terminus at the Canadian border.  The last section of trail was well worth the wait, and the terrain in the Pasayten Wilderness was some of the most scenic of the entire PCT.  What a journey this walk has been. 

PCT Northern Terminus 9/6/15

Mexico/Canada - 4/12/15 & 9/6/15
Rain at Rainy Pass - 9/4/15
Methow Pass area - Mile 2,600 

Approaching Harts Pass - Mile 2,615

Harts Pass - 9/5/15

Holman Pass 9/6/15

Woody Pass, Pasayten Wilderness - Mile 2,639

North Cascades fall colors
Windy Pass area 9/7/16 - heading south back to Harts Pass after reaching monument

Monday, August 24, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 124-133 (8/13-8/22) (miles 2,351-2,540)

I've made it to mile 2,540, which is 110 trail miles south of the Canadian border and 75 trail miles north of Stevens Pass, WA (Highway US-2).

Due to the Blankenship Fire closure in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, I've had to exit the trail near the Suiattle River at mile 2,540 and roadwalk 30 miles out to the town of Darrington WA.  

While only 1 fire is forcing the PCT closure, there are many large fires in northern Washington at the moment.  Regaining the PCT north of mile 2,540 is not possible due to trail closures, road closures, and the quickly evolving fire situation.  Hwy 20 is even closed to Rainy Pass due to fire. So, my hike is on a temporary hold with 110 miles to go.

The plan is to get back on trail when fire conditions improve, and make it to Canada.

Photos below are from the last 200 miles of trail including Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Henry M Jackson Wilderness, and Glacier Peak Wilderness areas:

Early morning blowing fog - mile 2,375 8/14/15

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Mt Rainer in distance - mile 2,403, 8/17/15

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Joe Lake

Looking south to Mt Rainer from Alpine Lakes Wilderness, lots of smoke from all the forest fires in the area

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, view looking north

Early morning in Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Forest fire smoke blowing in from the north, Alpine Lakes Wilderness 8/19/15

Town of Skykomish - "a great northern town" 8/19/15
Morning fog in Henry M Jackson wilderness 8/20/15

Glacier Peak Wilderness
Low morning clouds in Glacier Peak Wilderness near Red Pass

Glacier Peak Wilderness

Glacier Peak Wilderness - Kennedy Creek - Mile 2,510, 8/21/15

Glacier Peak Wilderness - camp near Fire Creek Pass, mile 2,517 - 8/21/15

Suiattle River - Mile 2,540 8/22/25

Mile 2,540, exiting the PCT at the fire closure - Suiattle Trail junction 
(in regard to the sign, Rainy Pass is currently not accessible) 8/22/15

Road walking out to the town of Darrington, WA 
after exiting the PCT due to fire closure.  8/23/15

Thursday, August 13, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 115-123 (8/4-8/12) (miles 2,146-2,350)

Photos from the last 9 days in southern/central Washington, including Mt Adams wilderness, Goat Rocks wilderness, and Mt Rainer national park.  Goat Rocks was some of the most stunning terrain of the entire hike.  Currently I'm a day north of Chinook Pass.  Only 300 miles to go until Canada!

Mt. Adams from northwest side looking up at Pinnacle Glacier

Mt Adams looking south 
Looking south towards Mt Adams from Goat Rocks Wilderness, Walupt Lake below
Goat Rocks Wilderness approaching Cispus Pass

Goat Rocks approaching Cispus River
Snowfield approaching the "Knife's Edge" near Old Snowy alternate 
Looking north towards the Knife's Edge traverse

Trail heading up Knife's Edge - Goat Rocks Wilderness 

Goat Rocks Wilderness looking south towards Old Snowy

Trail bending north before descending to White Pass
Mt Rainer NP with afternoon storm clouds 

Dewey Lake - Wenatchee NF

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 111-114 (7/31-8/3) (miles 2,058-2,145)

Another state in the books!  Oregon really seemed to fly by.  The southern section of the state was much drier and dusty than I anticipated, with several long water-less sections similar to the southern California desert.  All in all the state was as pretty as I remembered it, beautiful snow capped peaks with the highlights being the Three Sisters Wilderness and Mt Hood areas.

Now it's onto Washington, and Canada!

Total days in Oregon = 19
Total "zero" days (rest days in town) =1
# of bear sightings = 0
Days with at least some rain = 0
# of hitches to towns (round trip) = 1

Mt Hood looking up White River Canyon

Timberline Lodge breakfast buffet

Mt Hood - Zig Zag Canyon

Tunnel Falls on Eagle Creek alternate trail 

Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River connecting Oregon/Washington

Bridge of the Gods