Sourdough Gap

On September 9th we hiked to Sourdough Gap on the East side of Mt Rainier. We had hiked to Sheep Lake on a previous hike but thought we had better train a little more before trying to reach Sourdough. This time we only paused at Sheep Lake long enough to get a couple of pictures

and headed out for the pass, another 1.4 miles up the trail and quite a bit higher, as attested to by the photo I took of the same lake near the top of our hike.

The trail beyond Sheep Lake offers views of rugged country, the trail itself is never too steep, just a steady climb to the top.  It taxed the three older members of the group but didn’t seem to slow Kylan down at all.

Unfortunately, the smoke from wildfires on the east side prevented us from seeing as far as advertised in some hiking guides, but we got a good view of the PCT as it headed down and then back up a distant ridge to the North. 

Surprisingly, we encountered twelve or thirteen PCT hikers near Sourdough Gap, and all but two were women, most apparently hiking alone. I was both amazed and impressed at that. This young woman was one of the first we met and talked to.  She used the rest to call her boyfriend and let him know where she was on her trek.

 Despite all the years I’ve hiked portions of the PCT, I had only met one other hiker who was attempting to complete the entire trail in a single year. I was also surprised that most of the hikers were hiking solo; I’ve only backpacked by myself one or two times.  

Even more amazing was how light their packs looked; gear has changed radically since I started hiking and backpacking.  Of course, my first backpack was made of wood and canvas and was extremely uncomfortable, nearly as uncomfortable as the cement-like boots that they told me I needed to wear if I was carrying a pack.

If I was sixty years younger,  I would be sorely tempted to hike the PCT from Mexico to Canada.  Since that’s not going to happen, I’ll keep hiking short stretches of the PCT and enjoying the 

beautiful scenery, like this Fall foliage.

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