START: Cascade Locks
FINISH: White Pass
DISTANCE: 147 miles (236.5 km)
DAILY AVERAGE: 29.4 miles (47.3 km) – included a Nero (just a few miles hiked) in Cascade Locks.
TOTAL DISTANCE: 2302 miles (3704 km)
On the scenery front, highlights of this section were Mt. Adams and Goat Rocks. The sixty mile segment which encompassed both of these remarkable areas was pretty much snowbound from beginning to end, thus the jaw-dropping vistas were occasionally accompanied by the odd grumble which went something along the lines of “is this (insert expletive of your choice) snow ever going to end?!!”
On the social side of the backcountry spectrum, I had the good fortune of running into some very cool people. Whilst slurping down multiple huckleberry smoothies in Trout Lake, I spent a couple of enjoyable hours chatting with All Good and Sasquatch, two former AT thru hikers who had just returned from an ascent of Mt Adams. I tend to spend so much of my time hiking solo, that when I do encounter like-minded folk along the way, hours can literally disappear in an instant, as the solitude versus social imbalance is at least somewhat amended.
The following day I ran into Sondra, a climbing guide for Mountain Madness, who was kind enough to invite me to a gourmet feast on the snowy slopes of Mt.Adams. I happened along by pure chance (or perhaps serendipity), as I was contouring around the mountain a little higher than I should have been, and upon spotting a yellow tent perched upon a rare snow-free ridge, thought I would mosey up and say ‘hi’. Comforting to know that although my navigation may occasionally be slightly askew, my internal compass is absolutely spot on in telling me where I need to go at just the right moment!
Speaking of finding one’s way in the woods, click here to go to an article on backcountry navigation in the Skills section of The Hiking Life website.