Mile 2312 to 2332, 20 miles
Cost: Camped, free
If yesterday looked like autumn, today was definitely winter!
It was so cold overnight. I was wearing two pairs of socks for the first time, my base layers pj’s as well as my down jacket and rain jacket and balaclava with down jacket hood! It started raining around 4am and continued until around 7am so once again I was going to have to pack up a wet tent.
I started to get up around 7 and heard DLux stirring too. I asked him what he thought the temperature was and it turned out he had a thermometer on him, it was 2 degrees C, so just a little over 32F… Exactly how it felt!
It took me a long time to pack up. I separated the net in my tent (dry) from the tarp (wet) and I made a hot coffee too so I could try to get the feeling back in my fingers by holding onto the hot cup. I eventually left at 8:30am about 20 minutes after DLux.
Within no time I was walking through snow, hello winter in Washington on the 2nd September, what the …?!
It was beautiful and I stopped often to take photos but my feet and shoes were well and truly soaked within half an hour of starting. I was really hoping today would be one of those days that the sun comes out and my shoes and tent would be able to dry.
There was only one set of footprints in the snow, DLux’s. I’m just glad I was able to follow someone else’s and it wasn’t me trying to find the trail.
Around 11am the sun started to peak through the thick clouds and I sat down to have a quick snack and try to dry my tent. As soon as I had pulled it out the sun was swallowed up by the thick clouds but I persisted and hoped that it would come out again – for 40 minutes – it didn’t 😦 My tent dried a tiny bit because of the wind but once I wrapped it up again, it was all wet.
This is quite shaky, sorry!
I’m sure there were supposed to be stunning views of Mt Rainier today as I entered the Mt Rainier national park, but no views for me. I got to Chinook Pass around 12:30pm and saw Ladiesman and GG getting out of a car, they’d got a lift here from White Pass. I hadn’t seen GG since staying at her ski lodge in Truckee for the 4th July so it was wonderful to see her again. The three of us walked together until Sheep Lake. The sun was out again so I decided to make this my lunch break, try again to dry out my tent and get some more water – I’d only had half a litre all morning because it had been too cold to drink.
I sat at the lake for about 45 minutes then set off again. I found phone service on top of the next hill and checked the weather forecast again – more of the same rain with more snow forecast, not ideal!
While I was stopped, the Tits came up behind me and I told them there was phone service. We all stood there out of the rain under some trees checking our phones, then set off together. Time was flying by as we walked together and then it started snowing… A lot! I was really trying for a big day today because I want to be at Snoqualamie on Saturday night (I only have enough food until then) but the snow was coming down fast and thick, so after filling up water at a spring, I decided to camp at the next spot as it said multiple campsites within the trees. I was originally there with the Tits, Ladiesman and GG and we had all chosen spots protected by the trees. Before I had finished setting up my tent we were joined by about 8 other hikers, none of whom I had met before but all trying to get out of the snow.
I was so so cold. My toes had been wet and frozen for about an hour, my rain jacket was soaked through and I felt like I would never be able to get warm. I jumped into my tent as soon as it was set up, put two pairs of socks on again and this time had my base layer top, fleece and down jacket with balaclava, fleece hood and down jacket hood. I cooked ramen in my vestibule with extra water to make it soupy and hopefully warm me up… It took a while but I could finally feel my toes again before falling asleep.