My name is Martin Caspersen, I live in the very flat scandinavian country of Denmark. Most of my life I have lived just north of the capital (Copenhagen), I have however lived a short while in Brisbane, Australia.
I have a big love for being outdoors. In my day-to-day life most of my time outdoors is spent running where I generally try and push for distance over speed. When I get a chance what I really like to do is to go hiking. In particular I like hiking in mountainous and generally strenous terrain. Until 2018 my hiking experience waslimited to somewhat shorter trips with the highlights being a 4-day hike in New Zealand and a thru-hike of the GR20 on Corsica.
In 2018 that changed as I thru-hiked the PCT, the Pacific Crest Trail, in the US. I have dreamed about thru-hiking the PCT ever since I first heard about it in 2011. The thru-hike was an amazing experience.
Today I made it to Snoqualmie Pass which is roughly the midpoint of Washington. The day was pretty tough mostly because of humidity and heat.
I started early today at 0511 since I wanted to spend the night in Snoqualmie Pass and get some value out of my room. Also in the morning it seemed like the mosquitos reappeared a bit.
Mostly I spend the day hiking in forests with the occasional view. Luckily I never encountered serious mosquitos problem during the day.
The day was very hot and it seems every time it is hot in Washington it is also very humid. This combination makes it impossible to climb without soaking my shirt in sweat.
The day had quite a lot of climbs and towards the end of the day the trail became very rocky. From what I have heard this will happen more further north.
Snoqualmie Pass is a ski resort and just before arrival I walked across the ski area. Upon arrival I headed to Aardwerk Express for food.
I had a curry which was amazing and then headed to the gas station for drinks and snacks. Then I checked in at hotel. I then immediately had a shower and did my laundry.
Doing laundry seems a bit silly since I am sure all of my clothes will be dirty again within hours of hitting the trail tomorrow.
I also picked up my resupply box and now I am in a bit of a dilemma. I have too much food since I should have another box waiting for me at Steven’s Pass which is in 71 miles. I probably have food for close to 5 days while only needing 2 days. I will probably end up taking 3 days of food so I have a bit extra.
Also currently it almost seems like I convert food and water to miles. I eat 10 bars of different types in between the three meals breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Today was a longer day than I particularly wanted because at the time I wanted to camp there were no good campsites. I did not have issues with mosquitos today which was really nice.
I started earlier than usual at 0532 because another hiker started packing and I could not get back to sleep. One advantage of the early start is that I get to enjoy the beautiful morning colors and cool temperatures.
Most of the day I had decent views of Mt Rainier. Early in the day I passed Chinook Pass which meant I saw a lot of day hikers.
Near the pass I met Long Gone who I have met twice before, we talked briefly.
There were some steep climbs today and combined with the milage it made the day quite tough.
Near Norse Peak I passed through a huge burn area from last year which meant a lot of trees to crawl over.
Just before reaching my campsite I had a decent climb that was quite easy because of the gentle grade. It was already dark when I arrived at the campsite but for the first time since before Oregon there did not seem to be any mosquitos so I did not setup my bivy.
I plan to reach Snoqualmie Pass tomorrow and stay the night at Summit Inn since it is probably my last chance to sleep in a bed in Washington. Getting a shower and hopefully laundry will be awesome.
Today was a kinda mixed day. It started really great with the Knife’s Edge where I had amazing views and interesting trail. Later the trail went in to forest and even a few mosquito infested sections.
I started a bit earlier than usual at 0538 since I wanted to get to White Pass as close to lunch as possible. White Pass is a store 0.6 miles from the trail that holds packages and offers usual gas station fare.
The trail for the first few hours was magnificent, the best in Washington so far. The trail slowly climbed and I had to cross a few snow patches. At a certain point the trail splits between a stock route and a more difficult hiker route. I took the hiker route which climbs steeply to a ridge called Knife’s Edge and the highest point on the PCT in Washington I believe.
The trail continued on the ridge for some time and this entire section had great views.
As the trail descended it sadly went back in to forests and quite a few mosquito sections.
As I made the highway I headed to the White Pass store. Here I collected my resupply and new shoes. I also had done snacks and drinks.
The camp for today was a bit off trail, when I arrived 2 other tents are already setup. The camp had some mosquitos but not the worst I have had.
Some southbounders say they did not have many mosquitos further north, but I am not getting my hopes up.
Another thing about Washington is that it seems quite humid which can make hiking in the heat tough.
I hope to make it to Snoqualmie Pass by end of day the day after tomorrow. But that requires that I hike a lot of miles tomorrow.
Today was a very mixed day, a few times I had some amazing views but a lot of the times I had green tunnel with no views. Mosquitos were once again quite bad in sections, one particular section was probably the worst I have had yet.
I got a late start today at 0615 since a critter had gotten in to my food bag during the night, so I had to field repair it. I guess it was kinda my fault for camping in a spot with a lot of trash near roads.
For a very long time I had almost no views except glimpses of mountains through the trees. Once I got close to Mt Adams the trail luckily periodically opened up to present the spectacular mountain.
Mosquitos were present for a lot of my hiking pre lunch but not too bad. I had lunch near some lava stones where there mercifully were almost no mosquitos.
After lunch the trail went back to forest and after a short climb I descended in to a true mosquito hell hole. At times it was almost like a wall of mosquitos. This went on for 4-5 miles. Once I started climbing to Sheep Lake and Cispus Pass the mosquitos mostly disappeared.
The climb to Sheep Lake was not too steep, I had originally thought about camping there but since I was there just past 19 I continued on to pass over Cispus Pass.
The pass was beautiful and my campsite seemed to be free of mosquitos. This quickly proved to be a lie.
I must admit the mosquitos are taking the fun out of my hiking. If I was not very close to finishing I would probably have serious thoughts about stopping.
Today was a miserable day it felt exactly like Oregon or at least the worst parts of Oregon, green tunnel and mosquitos all day. A bit of Washington’s steeper climbing revealed itself as well.
I started hiking at 0558 and quickly had to protect myself against mosquitos. The mosquitos were present the entire day and made the hiking quite miserable.
The trail had almost no views today as it was pretty much all green tunnel. The trail was however quite easy.
I hope that the mosquito situation changes soon as it is currently driving me crazy. Tomorrow it looks like I will be camping at higher elevation so that might help.
My next resupply stop is White Pass where I hope to arrive the day after tomorrow. If I can keep up the current daily miles I should arrive early afternoon which would allow me to charge my stuff, collect my packages and then hike some miles past White Pass.
Today I left Cascade Locks and entered Washington, the final state of the PCT.
I wanted to start as early as possible while still taking advantage of the free breakfast. I woke up at 0530 and packed everything and had a shower. Then I checked out and walked to the breakfast restaurant so I was ready when they opened at 0630.
I had pancakes and while eating I met two other hikers. I started hiking around 0700 and first order of business was to cross Bridge of Gods. This was beautiful and scary as there is no sidewalk and no shoulder. I managed it without being run over.
Once I made the trail it immediately became a green tunnel and stayed that way for most of the day.
The route the trail took was strange as it started going south, then west before starting heading back east and slightly north. Even with all the hiking I did today as the crow flies I am probably not more than 15 miles from Cascade Locks.
The trail had a lot of climbs and after most of them the trail descended down low again. Only at the end of the day did I start on a climb that will take me up and then the trail seems to stay rather high for the rest of Washington. An app I have says I did close to 10000 ft of elevation gain. It looks like tomorrow should have a lot less. Today was also my biggest food carry in Washington so my pack was relatively heavy.
The day was very hot which made the climbing quite tough. For once the green tunnel and it’s shade was actually welcome.
My shoes really do seem to be losing all their cushioning but luckily I have new shoes waiting in White Pass which is just 110 miles away.
Today I had what I plan to be my last zero of the PCT. Even more than my other zeros I was really keen to get hiking again.
I woke at my usual time around 0530 even though I obviously did not have to. Breakfast was not available till 0630 so I spent some time relaxing and took a shower. Breakfast was at the restaurant next to the hotel and was decent.
During the day I did not do much except just relax in my room.
Tomorrow I will head out again as early as possible after getting breakfast. So I prepared everything in the evening.
I hope to do at least 35 miles tomorrow but it looks like I will have a lot of climbing to do so it might be a rough day. Also it looks like tomorrow might be quite hot.
For Washington I only plan to resupply 4 times. The first stretch to White Pass of the longest at close to 150 miles with the rest close to or less than 100 miles. Unlike Oregon there are not daily resorts to visit which means I will have less downtime due to that.