White Pass – Tieton Pass junction
11.6 miles. 2551ft up. 2145ft down.
I slept relatively ok for a town day, I was still awake at 11pm which messes with your body when you are used to sleeping before its dark. And I have loads of over stimulation from technology.
I got up before the others at about 6:30 and had a wonder about. I wondered around the grocery store, not really needing anything, concerned already at how heavy my food bag is. I went to the pizza / breakfast place to see if they had gone there already. I went back to my room and there was a chocolate milk on my doorstep. Yes!
We went for breakfast and Strings took his leftover pizza. They didn’t bat an eyelid. I ordered a small breakfast and Drake ordered a large breakfast and a pancake. When the pancake came it was the same size as a large pizza – 16 inches!!
Drake left to do some shopping and we were joined by Running Red and Chris. Running Red was just about to order the same as Drake, but 2 pancakes. I had to reign him in and tell him about the size. Both Drake and Red only made it half way through their pancakes!
After we had done some more faffing and marvelled at the size and weight of Strings bag, made a trash bag waterproof, reorganised things for him, we could put it off no longer and we stood on the road to hitch a ride. It didn’t take long and someone that originally drove past turned around and came back to get us. It’s difficult sometimes to hitch as a three because people just don’t have the room. But this was a vw westfalia and after some rearranging there was plenty of room for us.
It was a slow van before, but now with 3 extra people and 3 extra packs – some weighing as much as people – it was even slower! Awesome van though. I want one.
The very nice couple dropped us at the trailhead and we were on our way. It was cloudy and cool. Good weather for the 6.5 miles of uphill. Drake and Strings went ahead of me because I like to plod uphill. I remembered coming down this section last year and I remembered it as long so I built it up in my head that it was going to be a tough climb. I had some cell service so checked in with my parents and then plugged myself into a podcast to get me uphill.
I broke into the snacks pretty quickly and I was really engrossed in my Twix so I didn’t see some horses coming up the trail. The lady said hello and I had to quickly jump off the trail before I was mowed down. Just as I thought it was safe to get back on the trail, more horses came past.
The higher we climbed the worse the weather became. It got very cold and it started to drizzle. Raincoat and gloves time. We could see sun in the distance, but unfortunately we weren’t going that way! We pushed on through an exposed ridgey section and the uphil was much more gentle than I remember. The clouds began to close in around us and soon we could barely see the trail behind us. We got to the top and the climb was nowhere near as bad as I was anticipating. Expect the worse. Hope for the best.
Then it was 5 miles of downhill to our tent site. My bag was much more reasonable than I had imagined. Or maybe it just seemed light after picking up the boys packs! As we descended into the forest the sun came out and it even started to feel a bit warm. I spoke to a guy who told me I wouldn’t make it over the Knife Edge in those shoes and I needed boots. I told him he was wrong.
Of course the sun didn’t last for long and with a mile to go to camp it started raining. After a quick stop for water we made it to camp and found a couple already camped there. We went a little further up to another campsite. It was snug but we squeezed ourselves in.
We arrived about 6 and by 6:30 we were in our tents eating our dehydrated food. It’s cold and wet and unpleasant. We made a plan to take an on-trail zero if the weather remained rubbish. We have more than enough food and we want to see the Knife Edge in good weather.
Drake made sandwiches for his lunches and he made an extra peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Strings and I. I was a bit reluctant to eat mine as I had never had one (and never really wanted to!). But I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually quite nice.
So now I’m lying down early and listening to the rain drop onto the tent.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.