Everyone was up and on trail pretty sharpish this morning. The density of the forest made for a dark one and there was humidity among the trees. Almost immediately we started a climb, zig zagging up one slope before traversing across to another to finish off the 800 ft of elevation gain. This brought us into a meadow platform with tall firs shooting up from the grasses. Another climb greeted us giving us views of the valleys we had been in the previous day all clad in dense forest.
The group were pretty tired and therefore we opted for an early lunch at a camp site at the bottom of the following descent. As we draw closer to the end, leaving rest spots is becoming harder. Our bodies are ready to stop but we must keep pushing. A few miles away we collected water from a river which flowed down and between a scree slope.
It was now time for our second large climb of the day, but this time the new elevation gave us something new. Down the valley on the horizon we could see a stand alone mountain which we believe to be Glacier Peak. It was Shasta like in its stance, standing tall above the craggy range around it. Yet another platform signified the halfway point of the climb, this time with a large blue lake as the main feature. Small trout could be seen living their wild lives among this beauty. It always strikes me that all this wildlife has no clue about how lucky they are to live in such places as these.
Onwards we ploughed until we dropped down to yet another lake side. Now it was time for the show stopper, a steep 700ft of elevation gain over less than half a mile. Molly and I went ahead to secure tent spots for us all at the climbs summit, and the speed at which we climbed was godly. Sweat soaked and relieved to see plenty of space, we stared wide eyed at the setting sun and the colour with which it painted the mountains around us. From this saddle we had prime views of where we had climbed and what was to come. It was all so beautiful and wild.