We have ourselves an extra 15 minutes this morning, leaving camp at 6:30am to a rather wet and wild world outside. The clouds sat in the valley, sweeping up to lick the sides of the mountains, opening up momentary windows of vision. It was an exciting and disorienting place to be. As the mist began to subside before breakfast we got amazing views of rocky peaks and snow filled glacial valleys. I am mesmerised by a rock that has fallen off the mountain and left a trail of devastation behind it.
We had breakfast at Methow Pass below the dramatic Mt Hardy. It felt strange making coffee for two in such a large saucepan and we missed Mushy greatly. I hope he’s doing ok! We didn’t get reception at the Rainy Pass to check that he got to town ok.
We plunged into the next valley, into pretty but familiar pine forest. All of a sudden I notice No Show hiking behind us, we chat and filter water together. The path descends for a couple of miles and then swings to the west to take another river valley up to Glacier Pass. This is the main climb of the day and it’s really steady, no steep bits. Quiz and I eat lunch in a sunny meadow at Glacier Pass, half way up the climb, and hang the tent out to dry. The temperature has definitely dropped, its cold in the shade but perfect for hiking during the day.
After lunch we continue our climb up to the top of a ridge and look out toward Azurite Peak and Ballard Mountain. The top of the ridge is sparse with cute spindly pine trees (maybe they are larches? Not sure if they are changing colour). A series of meadows in browns and yellows and reds makes for a warm feeling. I would definitely camp up here if I could do it a second time around! We can probably see Canada from here! We can definitely point out the Diamond Creek fires to the north east. They are still burning but the smoke looks to be blowing east, when we go to the west of them.
The rest of the day is glorious exposed ridge walking. The flora feels different to the rest of Washiongton’s pct. Many of the pines are smaller, there are less blueberries but more bright red coloured ground cover. The 70 days of no proper rain is far more evident out here, with the grass browned off leaving rocks exposed.
We catch up with No Show again and get into camp at around 6pm. I found today tiring. The lovely forest service folks at the fire guards cabin give us a beer each and we make dinner and hop in our tents, it’s freezing tonight!