Aborted PCT trip

As part of my sabattical, I planned on hiking a week’s worth of the Wunderland trail around Mt Rainier. when I looked at their website the trail conditions reports says that snow is bad enough that all four parties that had tried aborted by the end of the first day.

So I went back to plan A, the Pacific Crest Trail. Robie and I hiked up the Eagle Creek Trail about 5 miles and camped. Very nice hike. Lot’s of day hikers, but not a lot of campers. The next morning, we hiked up to Tunnel falls. (click the picture to make it bigger)

At that point Robie headed back to the car and I continued up Eagle Creek trail towards the PCT. Quite a nice hike. Another 7 miles and 3000 feet of elevation gain later, I arrived at Wahtum lake.

I continued on to Indian Creek

The view wasn’t as nice, but fewer mosquitos.

The next day, I continued south on the PCT. The first 5 miles to Bull Mountian was great. Level trail. Shaded. On the West side of the ridge. (Sun does up in the East, remember).

As I approached the two peaks Preachers Peak and Devil’s Pulpit, trail ocnditions weren’t as good. Lot’s of snow drifts across the trail but you could generally see where the trail continues. I wouldn’t want to hike this in tennis shoes, but the edges of my boots held pretty well. Drains a lot of energy though.


The real trouble began in the saddle round the two peaks. It took me at least an hour to find the continuation of the trail. In places, I saw trail markers, but mostly it was guessing based on where the trail should be going.

I was very happy to find the other end, but worried. I hiked on a bit and came to the junction with Huckleberry trail which goes down to Lost Lake. At this point, the trail was clear of snow and I continued re-assured that I had a way out. Well about .5 mile later, I came across another snow field. I figured that even if I could find the other end, I’m starting to push my luck. This is a solo trip.

So I went back to the Huckleberry trail and hiked down to lost lake. I managed to get a text to Robie from my cell phone when I got to a part of the trail that was high and open. Hopefully, it’d make it through and she’d get me.

Three miles later (2 miles to the lake, and another to get to the other side) I arrived at their general store. They didn’t have a phone there, but one of the guys was nice enough to drive me up the road when cell phone was workable. I called Robie to find out she’s already on her way.

So my trip ended early. 5 days early. That’s a lot of food to carry for nothing. It was a very nice trip anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *