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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Wed, Sep 16th, 2009
Start: Fireweed Camp
End: Glacier Pass
Daily Distance: 27
Trip Distance: 2,614.0
Entry Visits: 961
Journal Visits: 132,538
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
Day 131 - 2600 Miles
I was up and going before dawn and hiked with the headlamp for nearly half an hour - I got new batteries for it in Stehekin so it was a lot better. I continued the gradual climb from last night. The trail was in the forest so there was little of note other than a few blowdowns I had to negotiate.
After a couple of hours I reached Rainy Pass and Highway 20. It wasn't a very busy road, unlike some of the others the trail has crossed. At the north trailhead there was a two-time thru' hiker who had just finished this year and had come back to the pass to dispense some trail magic. It was beer and I had one even though it was early morning - after all it is still good calories. From there the trail went past Porcupine Creek and then the day's climbing got serious. The first big climb was 1800 ft to Cutthroat Pass. It was forest most of the way up until near the top it opened up to some outstanding views. When I reached the top the views both to the south and to the north were both stunning. Most notable in this region is the jagged peaks of the mountains. I took a rest break mainly to spend some time taking in this beautiful location.
The trail then contoured around the ridge with some rather sheer drops and not very stable tread. I met a nice couple from Colorado and they offered to take my picture with one of the stunning views in the background. That was about the 2600 mile marker but who is counting them anymore?
With some rather steep switchbacks, the trail dropped down to Granite Pass where I stopped for lunch. Then it climbed back up to Methow Pass and on the way there was another of these classic, glacial-cut, "U"-shaped valleys.
After Methow Pass I then gave all that altitude back with a 2300 ft descent over almost eight miles. It was all in the forest so nothing of note stood out but the gradient and tread were conducive to a good pace and I was clocking the miles quite quickly. When the trail turned from an east direction to north and follow Brush Creek, it started an overall 2500 ft climb back up to the crestline altitude. I decided there wasn't enough daylight to reach the top and go beyond to the next water source so I packed water for an overnight and stopped halfway up at Glacier Pass. It started to sprinkle a little and it has turned colder and the wind has got up. Hopefully this is not the leading edge of a nasty weather front moving in.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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