GLACIER PEAK WILDERNESS
PCT DAY 44: Tuesday August 8, 2017
Mile 2474.4 – Mile 2499.5
25.1 miles (40.2km)
I knew it was going to be a beautiful day even before I moved from my sleeping bag. I looked up and I could see stars. Finally the smoke haze has begun to clear. I broke camp and was on my way by 5 am keen to make it to the top of Grizzly Peak to see the sunrise. As I left Glenn had not stirred. Hope I didn’t disturb him and he makes Pear Lake OK. The full moon was so bright I hardly needed a torch. Even in the dim dawn light I could see snowy peaks being illuminated in the distance. Oh happy days!
I made it to the top of Grizzly just as the sun was breaking over the mountains. The smog from the fires was still heavy and settled in the valleys but left the sky and mountain peaks clear. It was beautiful. I had my first sight of Glacier Peak just as it was being lit up by the rising sun. And if it could not get any better I was passing through a wildflower covered meadow before descending from the peak. Sunrise on one side of the peak and a full moon on the other. It was truly glorious.
As I descended off Grizzly Peak I could see the sun had already started to wash out the clean colours of the morning. The smog was rising and the mountains again started to look a bit hazey.
I reached and passed the Pear Lake junction by 8am. From the trail looking down it was hard to see the lake it was so perfectly still.
From the lake the trail rose up a side of a ridge through a huge field of granite boulders. Surprising that they still held snow despite the heat. The trail wound around east and west side of a ridge for quite a few miles. It was hot and sweaty hiking when exposed to the sun.
Just before lunch I descended through a cool and breezy forest to the beautiful Pass Creek. It was hard to stop for long as it was swarming with bugs. I picked up water and hiked up to Cady Ridge Trail junction to have lunch before continuing to climb to Cadys Pass. As I was finishing lunch a couple of northbound hikers I’d not seen before came by. They seemed to be in a hurry to continue the climb so did not stop. I packed up and caught up to them before going over the pass. From the pass the landscape became positively breathtaking. Gentle rolling green hills backed by rugged granite peaks and wildflowers everywhere. I couldn’t believe I was seeing such profusion of wildflowers again. It was just so beautiful not even the heat of the day mattered.
I wished it was later in the day when I reaching Lake Sally Anne. It is one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve seen. Small with crystal clear water and surrounded by a granite rock field on one side and grassy open banks on the other. And it appeared to be bug free. But it was only 2pm so way too early to stop. I stopped to chat to a gentlemen there who was part of a local group called Trailblazers. He hiked in carrying bags of trout fingerlings to restock the lake. I guess that may explain why there were no mosquitos. Whoever Sally Anee was, she must have been really pretty.
The landscape in the afternoon just got better and better even before I entered Glacier Peak Wilderness. Beautiful open rolling hills with valleys stretching out onto the haze. The snow covered Glacier Peak visible behind the green slopes of another mountain. There was a softness to the landscape despite the towering snowy peaks. The slopes of the ridge I walked along were covered in wildflowers which looked stunning in the late afternoon light. It was breathtaking. I could have hiked forever through this wonderland.