Saturday August 17, 19.8mi/31.9km
Pasayten Airfield (677.6/4275ft) to PCT Rock Pass camp (697.4/6214ft) (WA)
This day had everything! A lake, stream crossings, a bushwhack, alpine passes, marmots, and even people! I was camped at a trail junction, so I followed the signs, and up the hill I went.
I climbed for an hour in a cold valley, crossing and re-crosssing Soda creek a few times. Having wet feet didn’t help my lack of warmth. At the top, I went by Dead Lake.
After descending back down a different valley, I came to another trail junction. The sign said go left… I guess there’s a trail in there somewhere!
After climbing over a hundred fallen trees, the trail improved after a half mile. I cruised to the top of Frosty Pass, with lots of views along the climb.
The view looking west from the pass:
I had lunch at the top of the pass, since it was a nice windy and sunny spot (to dry out my tent). After descending from the pass, I was on the PCT!
Classic PCT quality trail, it’s so well maintained!
The PNT joins the PCT for 13 miles, and I was walking south on the PCT. Which felt strange, since in 2015 I had hiked it NOBO (northbound). Also, since I was hiking south, I was crossing paths with all the hikers finishing their NOBO hikes. I met more people each hour today, than I met on the entire PNT so far. I talked with 24 hikers today!
I hiked by Hopkins Pass, and then Hopkins Lake:
The scenery today was simply the best.
Hmm, I wonder where the trail goes?
I refilled my water at a tiny trickle, assisted by a homemade leaf-spout.
Looking down from the top of Rock Pass, at all the switchbacks I had just climbed. Hikers Three-Bean and Foxtail are down there, about a mile back!
I arrived to camp early, at 5pm, so I setup my tent and read my book for an hour, and then dinnertime! Tomorrow will be my last day in the Pasayten Wilderness, I can’t believe how big it was!