PCT Day 135 Hiking in Rainstorms 


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30th August 2015

Mileage 25.9

Bushcamp (2376.0) to Snoqualamie Pass (2401.9)

Miles to Canada 258.2 (415km)

The intermittent rain woke me numerous times during the night. When morning dawned I could’ve easily slept in. It was just that kind of morning but I was motivated to hike the 26 miles to Snoqualamie Pass. It promised showers, laundry, a bed and good food. 

Just as I started to pack up the tent the rain returned heavier than it was during the night. My damp tent became a soaking wet tent as I packed it into my pack. Tents are so heavy when they are wet.

My backpack is not waterproof. To keep things dry I line the inside of my pack with 2 trash bags. They work great and keep everything dry. To prevent my wet tent soaking everything I place the tent inside my pack at the top but on the outside of the waterproof bags. 

The rain continued at a steady rate all morning. My feet were the only part of me that was wet. My rain gear kept me dry. To regulate my body temperature and prevent sweating I constantly find myself putting on and taking off my beanie or thermal headware, I’m not sure what North Americans call it.

I also found myself wearing my gloves then taking them off. Regretfully, I didn’t pack my dishwashing gloves to make them waterproof, so I would pack my trekking poles away and pull my gloved hands up inside my rainproof jacket. Warm dry hands.

It was afternoon before the rain eased. I was still dry and happy, just my feet were soaking wet. I was unable to get my camera out and take photos during the morning, it was just too wet. I’m hoping the rain is doing some serious damage to the fires ahead of me. 

By late afternoon and with only a couple of miles to go my body started to shut down. I needed sugar. My energy levels were very low and I had already eaten all my snacks. The only food I had left needed to be cooked. I decided to keep moving at an embarrassingly slow rate.

When I did stagger into Snoqualamie Pass I made my way directly to the gas station to get some Dr Pepper. It’s amazing that within less than 5 minutes my body responded and my energy level returned.

I caught up with several hikers I haven’t seen for hundreds of miles or in some cases thousands of miles. My hiking miles in recent weeks has me catching and or passing many people. It’s been great to meet some old hiking buddies and meet new ones.

Tomorrow I head north again towards Stevens Pass. At this stage it will be the end of my unbroken line of footsteps from the Mexican border. Over the next 3-4 days I’ll be trying to seek out the latest information on the fire closures, what roads are open and what alternative trails I could take to continue my unbroken line to Canada.

Snoqualamie Pass

Next : Day 136 Reminds me of Tasmania

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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6 thoughts on “PCT Day 135 Hiking in Rainstorms ”

  1. Welcome to my neck of the woods. Shirtless, Steve, and I live in Seattle. The next 74 miles to Stevens Pass are beautiful. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them. Unfortunately you’ll be out of range soon for sending messages. Not much reception the rest of the way to the border. You’ll find some on the higher peaks.

    Here’s the latest news as of Wednesday September 2. You’re best bet is to get to Dinsmore Hiker Haven. PCT Mom should have all the latest info…or at least give you the number of the nearest ranger station for you to call and get info.

    “Multiple wildfires affecting the PCT north of Stevens Pass, Washington

    Sections: Section K / Section L / Washington

    Tags: Trail Closure

    September 2nd, 2015

    North of Stevens Pass, Washington, a large number of wildfires are burning along or near the Pacific Crest Trail. There is also plenty of confusing and wrong information online.

    Wait and see is good advice in this situation. These fires and closures will continue to evolve.

    Highway 20 has reopened.

    The only stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail that is closed lies inside of Glacier Peak Wilderness, just south of Stehekin. Here, 14.7 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail are closed due to the Blankenship Fire. Notably, on August 27 the Forest Service closed all of the Wenatchee River Ranger District to public entry, but kept the PCT open until you reach the Blankenship closure at Suiattle Pass. See map below.

    Along Lake Chelan, the Chelan Complex (also known as the Reach Complex) has been burning near the town of Chelan. This is where the boat shuttle to Stehekin leaves from. While the boat shuttle is still running, it’s probably best to see how that fire evolves. Multiple other large and serious fires are burning near communities in this area. Roads, transit, power and services all may be affected.”

    Good Luck!

  2. Good Morning, The Wolverine Fire as of 08/31/15 is currently 6.30 miles from the PCT north of you. From Stevens Pass the fire is approx. 35 miles. Here is a like to the InciWeb fire information system https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4354/. As of today 09/01 there are no more Fires north on the PCT from the wolverine fire.

    Best of luck.

  3. https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/pacific-crest-trail-section-j-snoqualmie-pass-to-stevens-pass-east?searchterm=stevens+pass

    It seems to Stevens pass is clear but near Lake Wenatchee, it seems it’s closed. Try WTA for alternative. (tel;(206) 625-1367)

    Cant believe you are so close to the goal!


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