Day 108 (20180716): 2359.4-2393.1

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.

 Forests everywhere
Forests everywhere

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.

 Snoqualmie Pass
Snoqualmie Pass

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.

Day 107 (20180715): 2312-2359.4

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.

 Early morning beauty
Early morning beauty
 Sun just peeking out
Sun just peeking out

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.

 Mount Rainer in sunrise colors
Mount Rainer in sunrise colors
 Big lake
Big lake

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.

 Small waterfall with rainbow near Chinook Pass
Small waterfall with rainbow near Chinook Pass
 Looking at the highway at Chinook Pass
Looking at the highway at Chinook Pass

Near the pass I met Long Gone who I have met twice before, we talked briefly.

 Sheep Lake looking at the ridge I have to climb over in the background
Sheep Lake looking at the ridge I have to climb over in the background
 Looking back to Sheep Lake and Chinook Pass from the ridge
Looking back to Sheep Lake and Chinook Pass from the ridge
 Looking ahead from the ridge reveals the trail to come
Looking ahead from the ridge reveals the trail to come

There were some steep climbs today and combined with the milage it made the day quite tough.

 Ski area in summer clothes
Ski area in summer clothes

Near Norse Peak I passed through a huge burn area from last year which meant a lot of trees to crawl over.

 So many burned trees today
So many burned trees today

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.

 Sunset
Sunset

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.

Day 106 (20180714): 2273.1-2312

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 love the early morning colors
I love the early morning colors
 Cool rock wall demonstrating some of the work that goes into maintaining a trail
Cool rock wall demonstrating some of the work that goes into maintaining a trail

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.

 Starting to see the mountains near Knife's Edge in the distance
Starting to see the mountains near Knife’s Edge in the distance
 Looking back at Mount Adams I believe
Looking back at Mount Adams I believe
 Big snow patch I crossed with Mount Adams in the background
Big snow patch I crossed with Mount Adams in the background
 Mount Rainier in distance with a snow covered high mountain lake in the foreground
Mount Rainier in distance with a snow covered high mountain lake in the foreground
 Selfie with the same view
Selfie with the same view

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.

 Big snow patch before the climb to Knife's Edge
Big snow patch before the climb to Knife’s Edge
 Looking at the stock route which runs much lower than the hiker route
Looking at the stock route which runs much lower than the hiker route
 Panorama looking back at Mount Adams
Panorama looking back at Mount Adams
 Looking to the east from Knife's Edge
Looking to the east from Knife’s Edge

The trail continued on the ridge for some time and this entire section had great views.

 Selfie with the ridge I later hiked in the background
Selfie with the ridge I later hiked in the background
 The ridge that the trail followed for some miles
The ridge that the trail followed for some miles
 Looking back up at the high point of Knife's Edge
Looking back up at the high point of Knife’s Edge

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.

 Rock slope with nice views
Rock slope with nice views

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.

Day 105 (20180713): 2229.9-2273.1

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.

 Mount Adams through an old burn area
Mount Adams through an old burn area
 Looking back at Mount Hood I believe
Looking back at Mount Hood I believe

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.

 Mount Adams
Mount Adams
 Mount Adams from a riverbed
Mount Adams from a riverbed

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.

 Looking back at the mosquito hell valley
Looking back at the mosquito hell valley

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.

 Great view from the last stretch before Cispus Pass
Great view from the last stretch before Cispus Pass

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.

 Final climb on snow to Cispus Pass
Final climb on snow to Cispus Pass

The pass was beautiful and my campsite seemed to be free of mosquitos. This quickly proved to be a lie.

 Last rays of sun from my campsite
Last rays of sun from my campsite
 Late day selfie
Late day selfie

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.

Day 104 (20180712): 2185.7-2229.9

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.

 One of the brief views of the day
One of the brief views of the day

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.

 Perfect mosquito breeding ground?
Perfect mosquito breeding ground?

The trail had almost no views today as it was pretty much all green tunnel. The trail was however quite easy.

 Another good but very brief view
Another good but very brief view

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.

 I guess there is snow in Washington as well
I guess there is snow in Washington as well

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.

Day 103 (20190711): 2146.8-2185.7

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.

 On the Bridge of Gods
On the Bridge of Gods

Once I made the trail it immediately became a green tunnel and stayed that way for most of the day.

 Sign reclining m reminding me that there are still some miles to go
Sign reclining m reminding me that there are still some miles to go

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.

 Green tunnel
Green tunnel

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.

 Bones at my campsite, is that a good sign?
Bones at my campsite, is that a good sign?

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.

53

Day 102 (20180710): Zero in Cascade Locks

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.

 Bridge of Gods which will carry me to Washington
Bridge of Gods which will carry me to Washington

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.

 Crazy amazing hotdog
Crazy amazing hotdog

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.