Tuesday, September 8, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 141-143 (9/4-9/6) (miles 2,590-2,650) The Final Chapter!

After a road walk into Canada (see previous post), I still needed to finish the last 60 miles of trail from Rainy Pass to the official PCT northern monument to wrap up my 2015 journey.  After some rainy weather helped suppress the various fire threats, access to the PCT was reopened allowing me to complete the last 60 miles of trail.

The last section was well worth the wait, the terrain in the Pasayten Wilderness was some of the most scenic of the entire PCT.  After 2,700+ miles, my 2015 hike is now complete.

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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 134-140 (8/23-8/29) Canada by roadwalk

After departing the PCT at the Blankenship Fire closure (Suiattle Trail junction, mile 2,540) and road walking out 30 miles to the nearest town, I weighed my options for 2 days.  With no way to regain access to the PCT north of mile 2,540, I decided to finish my hike to Canada via an 80 mile road walk from the spot where I had previously stopped.  This would allow me to keep my continuous walking path north from Mexico to Canada intact even though I would not be ending my hike at the official PCT monument.  Coincidentally, the 30 mile walk out from the fire closure, then 80 mile roadwalk to Canada roughly equaled the 110 PCT miles I would be missing.

I walked into Canada at the Sumas WA -Abbotsford BC border crossing on 8/29, 140 days after I began the hike.  It's been a great journey.

The plan now is to come back next week if/when the trail reopens and finish the 60 miles of trail from Rainy Pass to the official PCT northern terminus.

Welcome to BC - 8/29/15

Abbotsford border crossing - 8/29/15
Road walking near Concrete WA - 8/27/15

Stopped at the Birdsview Brewing (Birdsview, WA) on my roadwalk 8/27/15

Road walk near Sedro-Woolley, WA 8/27/15 
Road walking highway 530 north of Darrington - 8/26/15

The 80-mile route from Darrington,WA to the border crossing 

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 (Hwy 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.  Then I caught a ride to the town of Mt. Vernon WA where I'm currently waiting for the fire situation to improve so I can finish the last 110 miles of trail.

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 road closures, trail closures, and the quickly evolving fire situation.  Hwy 20 is even closed to Rainy Pass.  So, my hike is on a temporary hold with 110 miles to go.

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

Photos from Snoqualmie Pass to mile 2,540, including Alpine Lakes, Henry M Jackson, 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