The Mighty Rainier

Day 150

One of the most iconic things in Washington is Mt, Rainier. A mighty mountain with nothing around -- making it even more impressive. When one sees that on the PCT, it means they are getting close to the border of canada. Today, we saw that mountain.

At first, it seems like any other day. We were happy that the rain had cleared and the day was quite clear and sunny. Unfortunately we did have a lot of incline but, nothing we haven't done before. So off we went. The climb up was exceedingly difficult, and it was much slower going than we had anticipated, however, just as we peaked the first part of the incline, the kingly Rainier formed a skyline across the horizon. For the next couple hours, it was all we could see.

Even with the beautiful scenery, the trail brought us to snow. Walking over some snow -- with oh so fond memories of the Sierras -- we got to a split. of to the right the trail went, with a sign pointing across an incredibly steep rock face and glacier which the trail cut across. It was entirely coved in snow. Clearly unable to pass over this without crampons at the very least, we went off to take the alternate route. What a climb that was. Going straight up a pit full of rocks, and then straight back down a part of the mountain which was only a foot or two wide, was very intense.

As I got down, and began to cross the second knifesedge for the day, I saw a very small dot across the way. It was Hecth; very clearly going the wrong way. I started hollering and shouting, and lucky -- even from a half mile away -- he heard me and got the message. He got back going the right way, but when Andy caught up, we had to wait until Hetch made it back our way.

The rest of the day was gorgeous. The view of Rainier meant many things, all which we are excited for. Unfortunately because of all the difficult climbing and the added mile of the alternate route, we didn't get into White Pass today like we had planned. It was still a wonderful day, and we are excited for this epic close to our long journey.

-- Ian