Glacier Peak Wilderness - Day 9
We needed to make a decision when we woke up. We needed to take one of two mountain passess to end up where we needed to go. Both involved a lot of climbing, but while one was a relatively well known trail, the other one involved about 2 kilometers of off-trail hiking over boulders. According to the older couple we met before, the off-trail option was the prettiest trail of the two, as it would pass next to a glacier and several lakes. As Diane had been pushing herself to the limit nearly every day, we still decided to take the slightly easier option, which would still involve a 4 hour climb.
At first, the climbing was relatively easy as we were still on the PCT. After about an hour we left it and started the real climb. Fortunately, there were blueberries all along the slope so we could get some extra energy. The terrain was beautiful, with huge mountains surrounding us and all the foliage turned red and yellow. The climb seemed to go on forever, but eventually we reached the mountain pass. We had only seen a handful of people since leaving the PCT. We started the long descent, knowing that as soon as we reached the bottom, the trail would climb almost the same height again. We decided to camp at the bottom, near a river. While we were pitching our tent, another couple arrived at the same campsite.