Snoqualmie had been an absolute treat, but the call of the trail was strong and drew us back to the PCT by midday. Refreshed, rested and clean from our stay, we were all ready to embark on the last two weeks of our journey. Straight out from town was a pretty hefty climb. With an elevation gain of 2,500ft over 5 miles, we took the head down and sweat it out approach.

Along the way we entered the Alpine Lake Wilderness, an area which promised stunning views and vistas and sure enough, as the trees gave way to scree close to the summit, our eyes feasted on the mountain bowl around us. Up and over we went through what I’d call the gate way to the northern Cascades. Jagged and gnarled mountains surrounded us with foothills of forested valleys. These peaks were tightly packed around one another and the trail jumped across their flanks with the occasional sheer drop on either side.

We wiggled our way past alpine lakes, across a forested saddle and back into one of the most dramatic bowls yet. Wisps of clouds flowed as torrents over the mountain shoulders in a style reminiscent of the Lake District back at home. Dark clouds opened in patches to beams of light that struck down into the valleys.

Once again as we passed over a saddle into a near section of the range we were slammed by more beauty. This time it was of three deep blue lakes, one of which would be our camp for the night. We meandered our way down and settled on a small patch of beach at the lakes edge tired but motivated for the days to come.