Pacific Crest Trail Journals

White Pass to Snoqualmie Pass

September 4 – September 7, 2010

After an afternoon hanging out at White Pass I returned to the trail. I hiked for a few hours in the evening, had a run in with a porcupine and eventually camped just after Beusch Lake. The next day was overcast and foggy in the morning with relatively low visibility. These conditions persisted throughout the morning while I hiked through forests and past subalpine lakes but fortunately burned off by the time I climbed to the Cascade crest in the early afternoon. The hiking along the crest through Rainier National Parks eastern edge gave me terrific views of Rainier. I reached Chinook Pass, where I had originally planned to get off for the Wonderland Trail, in the afternoon and enjoyed some trail magic from Rhyme and Reason before pushing on to Big Crow Basin.

From Big Crow Basin I had planned to hike about 30 miles and set myself up for a short day into Snoqualmie Pass. After hiking just 12 miles I reached the Ulrich Shelter (built by the Snojammers Snowmobile Club) in Government Meadows and found Magic Man, Dicentra (of www.onepanwonders.com), and Hoosierdaddy doing trail magic and I knew I was done for the day. I spent the rest of the day eating delicious trail magic as other hikers filtered in. Dicentra cooked up a bunch of different recipes that she’s testing for her next recipe book and the hikers gave her feedback, which was usually along the lines of “This is ****in’ great!”

I camped inside the shelter that night and after a pancake breakfast headed towards Snoqualmie Pass. From the shelter it was either 46.6 or 50.2 miles to Snoqualmie Pass, depending on which data book you consult. Either way it wasn’t much longer than the longest day I’d hiked and I knew that I was in for a day of foggy, low-vis hiking through clearcuts and wet underbrush, so I decided to reach Snoqualmie Pass that night. About 15 hours after leaving the shelter I reached the Summit Inn at Snoqualmie and checked in. I had originally planned to camp outside of Snoqualmie but the last two hours of hiking in the dark and pouring rain had changed my mind.

I took a zero at the Inn on Tuesday, visited with a friend from college who came to meet me, and made some changes to my hiking schedule. I was going to leave from Snoqualmie Pass to hike the Wonderland Trail but have decided to postpone that hike until after I finish the PCT. This decision was influenced by a) border fever and b) the desire to minimize the amount of fall weather I have to hike in during the rest of my PCT hike. I now expect to finish the PCT on September 19.

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