Destination: MM 1875ish
Miles: 22.5 (plus 1.5 off trail miles)
Cumulative Miles: 1550
This morning we woke, and hiked a quick six miles up to the Mt. Thielsen summit trail. When Psycho hiked in 2005, he passed up an opportunity to summit the mountain. Two hours later, he was semi-lost in the snow with broken trekking poles and soaked feet. He chose to turn back. Since then, he has felt that Mt. Thielsen acts as a sort of gate keeper to the rest of the trail north. As such, he felt it necessary to linger on the mountain, perhaps even climb it.
We stashed our packs a few hundred feet up the summit trail, and decided to hike up the mountain, at least some of the way. The trail is about one mile long, but you climb close to two thousand feet. This steep ascent was made on loose scree, which had eroded off the rocky escarpments which make up the sides of this shield volcano. We did not go all the way to the top, and the last 50-100 feet require ropes for safe climbing. We went far enough to get above tree line, and have a fantastic view of most of the surrounding land, including Diamond Lake (pictured above).
After taking in the view, we had to return to our packs, and our hiking. We made the skiing sliding descent down the loose scree. When we arrived back to our packs, we put them on, only to find that they seemed much heavier, as we were used to the packless hike up Mt. Thielsen.
Mid-afternoon as we passed by the red dome of Tipsoo Peak, we hit the high point of the PCT for Oregon and Washington. It was only 7560 feet in elevation, and the climb up to it and drop down from it was barely noticeable. It is, however, another PCT landmark to be moved to the "been there, done that" column.
Hiking along the forested hillsides after Tipsoo Peak, the mosquito population grew to unbearable levels. We put our head nets on (which we always carry in our hands lately), and sprayed our arms with DEET, a nasty pesticide which works wonders (who knows what it's doing to us). A few more miles, and we arrived at camp.
We dove into our tent to escape the mosquitoes. Then we made sandwiches, an atypical meal for us. Perhaps it was the nice day, perhaps the sandwiches, or maybe the Deet on our skin, whatever it was we had a laughing party. It was hard to say anything without our sides cramping with laughter, or our eyes watering with joyous tears. Pleasant, it was.
Hiking for Cherryville Heartsongs
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