The rain had dissipated to a light misty drizzle by the time we awoke. The upper canopy of the trees was shrouded in cloud as we meandered from the ridge down to lake and forest. We were closing in on Chinook Pass, the location at which potential magic awaited us, but before the climb Will lost a bet and jumped into one of the alpine lakes. We stood around laughing and hiding an inner jealousy, the muggy weather had made the morning hike sticky work and an alpine dip looked delightfully refreshing.

On our way up to Chinook it became apparent that labour day was upon us. We passed day hikers and families at a frequency unmatched anywhere else on the trail. Navigating the crowds, we passed the Mt Rainier National Park bridge to the car park. Madd Baker was the angel delivering the days magic which consisted of soda, fruit, sweet and homemade banana bread.

The fog around us began to lift as we lunched there and before too long we found our selves trudging up yet another hill along the trail. It didn’t take long for us to feel the heat of the sun, but luckily Sheep Lake with its beautiful blue water was right along trail and beckoned us all in. Refreshed and dried by the sun while resting in the meadow, we progressed onwards up yet more steep climbs and ridge line walks. From woodland to burn area we went until we came to a patch of wood between the shoulders of two ridges which was to be our home for that night.