Saturday, 4 February 2017

GR 20, Corsica


The GR 20 is a  112 miles  "trail" in the island of Corsica, France, going through the roughed spine of the island. Often is said that is toughest  hike in Europe, in most of the part there is not trail ,you just follow the distinctive signs, jumping between granite rocks and climbing with the help of chains. You do not  need to be a climber ,  you would to be able to do basic scramble with your backpack. I would put below the typical questions that come to me during the planing stage.

How to reach the GR20 ?

Public transport is difficult if you arrive on Sunday to the airport, I did hitchhike to the trail. I was expecting a very difficult hitch from the airport but it was very quick, feel safe. Nice people.

North to south or south to north?

I did a trail before this one so I had my legs ready. I was anxious for how difficult would be the north part so I decided to do it first, was not that difficult. I really enjoy the technicality of the north part. Calenzana is also a  very nice small town where to start the adventure!

Most of the people start from the south to get used to the trail before reach the most challenging stage of the north.

How difficult is the trail?

Now I understand when people say  it is technical, it means is not just hike , you would have to scramble and move between rocks, you would  help yourself with chains. I did not feel my self in danger, maybe just ones or twice but anyone can do it. Some areas were difficult for me because I am scare of highs but don't need of any climbing experience.  The climbs are huge , you can gain 1000 metres in a few miles, very extenuates. 

During the 2650 miles of the pacific crest trail I can not remember any fall. During the 112 miles of the GR20 I fall twice and broke both hiking poles. I realize that after cross little springs the foot get wet and make them super slippery over the thin granite rocks !

How many miles do I hike a day?

In the north I was doing 1 mile an hour in some points, sometimes you need to cross a big fields of boulders without any trail, the climbs are very vertical and even going down make it quite slow because of the steep terrain. In the north I was following the stage and sleeping by the refuge, in the south you could do  easily a double stage, you could do 20 miles a day. I strongly suggest start early as at 12.00 could get really very hot, I paid this mistake big time and learned the lesson.

How I Navigate?

The route is well mark with red and white signs. If you are scrambling and you miss the signs for a few meters, careful! , probably you are out of the track, I saw a few people included myself having to retrack as we were out of the route. 

GR20 sign

Try to get as closer to the signs as possible, why? In front of the rock is death, behind is an easy pass......

I got a printed guide from cicerone that have some mini maps and also the information need it. I always carry the Backcountry navigation app in my phone with the corsica topo maps and track downloaded as back up. This app is not free, I think is just 7 £ but after you can download all the topo maps that you want. It is not the easiest app to use, I highly recommend it. 

Refuges or tent?

Myself a tent all the way, It is the main point for me to do the trail, the outdoors, I don't fancy sleep in a room with another 20 hikers, ( you have showers in the refuges ). In the north I was camping by the refuges, in the south I started doing one and half stages and do wild camping, it is a flatter terrain with more areas for camp. I brought a tart - tent, I was fine but in some of the areas were a little bit rocky. I cowboy camping a couple of times as the island hand a perfect weather , sunny and dry. Just got one storm.  Wild camping is illegal, so set the tent with the dust and break down early in the morning.

One of the most amazing sunset was  cowboy camping in the last stage  after pass the refuge di Paliri, The Changing colors of the red rocks are amazing in this valley and you will be the first person to reach the pools of Ruisseau de Punta Pinzuta in the morning , all for you.

How I resupply?

You can resupply ones a day in the refuges. The refuges have all. You can buy to cook yourself or you can eat like in a restaurant. Both are very pricey as food arrive by donkey or helicopter. I started with two and half days of food and try to resupply in the refuges that have road connection as food is much cheaper like : Haut Asco, Hotel Castel di vergio, Vizzavona or Bergeries de Capanelle. In the refuges in the mountains be ready to pay maybe triple the normal price of the food. You only be able to recharge your electronics in the refuges with road connection. I carried a 9000 aw battery pack.

I found quite difficult to get gas for stove , also when you arrive from the airport. I was lucky as one hiker finishing the trail gave a full canister.

I got water from the refuges, did not treat it and I carry the sawyer filter to get the water from streams. In top of the crest you will depend of snow patches. You will never be alone so you could ask any hiker for some water in an emergency.

Which gear did I carry ?

The Basic, think in good weather and maybe a summer storm, so minimal cloths: puffy jacket, flash water proof jacket for late in camp and your hiking clothes. I used the now old Tarpent cointrail as a shelter and 20 F. Really hike minimal in this trail but careful with sun protection and  did not get any mosquitoes !!! My default gear list is this link - Gear.

Gr 20, lac du Ninu

Do I recommend this trail?

Yes, big time, something different that the normal easy trail, enjoy a little bit of scramble, the views are astonished, the route is very good with nice weather,  You have many rivers and pools where to stop and swim, In some areas was worthy to inflate my termarest  and explore the pools. 

You also have those Bergeries where you can have a break and taste the local products like cured meats ans cheeses from shepherds. Bergeris are kind of  shepherds houses in the mountain.

After finish the trail I took a week to explore the beaches and the nice Mediterranean food from the island. I would don't mind to do this trail again , it is a lot of fun !

gr 20

Saturday, 5 November 2016

The Worcestershire Way, UK

The worcestershire way

The worcestershire way is a small 31 miles trail in the middle of England. It cross farm fields and forest areas mixing steep muddy climbs with meadows and service paths. It starts at the town of  Bewdley by the river Severn and finish in Great Malvern after climb the northern Malvern hill, one of the highest points of the valley. 

Getting there- Birmingham is the main biggest city close by, from there a 45 minutes train to Kiddermister and after a 10 minutes bus to Bewdley. Note that this bus is not working on Sunday so it is a 3,5 miles walk. The way back from Great Malvern is much easy as it is well connected by train.

Signage and Navigation - The Worcestershire is well marked with a green pear sign but still a map or GPS is a must,  there is plenty of times that I had to track back to find the right way. I downloaded the GPS coordinates from the GPS walking routes. This route is actually 4 miles longer, keeping going south. The right GPS rout could be find in The Long Distance walker association but only members can download it.  In this website you can find some extra information about the trail.

Terrain : It is trail most of the time, be ready to cross muddy areas , specially in meadows, you will have to cross some farm areas with live stock but not much. Some dirty roads connecting trails.

Resupply and Logistics- In Bewdley, the starting point, there is supermarket and all kind of facilities. The only resupply places I saw in the trail was 2 pubs around mile 20 and 21 and a small post office with basic food around mile 26. So unless you want to make it until mile 20 the first night you will have to bring food for day and half. the pubs could be a good option for breakfast or lunch for the second day. The first pub and bed and breakfast is the The Admiral Rodney and the second is The Talbot. 

The Worcestershire Way

Water - there is plenty rivers around but I will prefer to get the water from some tap of the farms around. The rivers seems quite contaminated with agriculture products even using a mini sawyer.

Camping, logging : I normally do stealth camping and there is plenty of places where to hide and set your tent, not that this is not legal but I never had a problem specially because you are not in a national park where normally there is more control about it. Be ready for a lot of condensation, I went with Tarp tent, I would recommend a double fly. If you want to skip the tent those 2 pub offer also break and breakfast, so start early and do 20 miles until the first pub.

Gear : I went with my normal Gear, just be aware of the rain, and maybe bring extra socks , your shoes will get soak in the morning because of the dew drop. 

The worcestershire way

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The west Highland Way, Scotland, Fort Willians

The west Highland way it has been a different experience. It is a mix between Pacific crest trail and camino de Santiago. You don’t have those 100 miles stretch; you pass ones a day by a small local pub. You have in the other hand those moments of solitude and wilderness of the PCT. You can stay in hostels or do like me and carry your shelter. I believe that in Scotland you can camp anywhere, you can cross private is quite relax country with all this. Be aware of midges, small mosquitos, in summer time. I suffered quite a lot with this. You have water  kind of everywhere, it looks pristine but I always filter it, I just think in the all the sheep’s and pesticides, The last day you can climb the highest pick in the United Kingdom, Ben Nevis, over 1000m, a decided to skip it as it was a very foggy day and my knee need some rest to rest the GR20 in 3 days in Corsica!

Ben Nevis from google..

If you are thinking in do it the west highland way keep in mind the weather, rains a lot , I imagine like in the AT, here there is not much cover, there is not much trees and the floor seems like always wet, some days I found quite difficult to find a place to camp that is not soaked. All this rain and mist create a surreal atmosphere, full of mystery, legends. You can imagine why so many stories of monsters and witches   show up here. Walk in the mist in the forest around ruins of old houses and castles is something quite creepy. Regarding gear I recommend fully waterproof, I had trousers and jackets, pack cover and pack liner. I did it with a tarpent contrail and down sleeping bag 20 F Zpacks, I had stove, I like to wake up and have my coffee and do a hot dinner at night, during the day better do lunch in a pub.

Mist in Scotland ( google pic ) 

I found this trail crossing to much road or walking with the close noise of cars, you have some moments where you follow a trail in the middle of nowhere but you would come back to the road, it is a mix. The good thing is you always can have a good pint of local beer and taste the traditional dishes of Scotland. Scotland is very outdoors orientated; I think is a kind of Washington or Colorado where people likes the outdoors.

I would recommend hiking with a guide book, just to cover the basics, and an historic book. Here in Scotland there are so many stories about clan wars. It put you in the situation of the scenery in how the people used to leave in this difficult remote area.

I took back from fort Williams the scenic train (it is actually the normal train)  to Glasgow. If you have some more time in Scotland I will recommend going a little bit norths into the Isle of Skye, This is a beautiful place to hike, hiking heaven and you can reach it also by a scenic train. In Scotland there is a few more long trails. Reading about I saw the entry from the guy from Zpacks doing a coast to coast without trail, you suppose to find your way, using trails or cross-country, I found it very interesting, could be a good alternative. Before leaving Scotland pay a visit into the classic lake Ness Monster  ( loch Ness ) and spend time in Edinburgh, historic and vibrant city.

Isle of Skye , Scotland

Monday, 22 February 2016

The west Highland Way, Lairigmor, Scotland

The west Highland Way,  Scotland

I was lucky, the morning brought some sun after a few days of rain , the first climb of the day is the called "Devils Staircase " a simple climb of 250 m, basically nothing, quite steep for a while but nothing, This is the highest point of the West Highland Way, so you can get the idea that the trail goes more into valleys than mountain crest. A little disappointed with that but is a beautiful trail.

Going down into the town of Kinlochleven I spot a hiking pole coming out from a bin, one was broken and the other was perfect, It was a black diamond ultra distance... a really good pole in carbon fiber. Last weekend was a race over here so someone must break one and just throw both....Like my extra hiking pole.
For this season I bought the Fizan 158 g poles, really happy with those. In this town I resupply a little and have some hot food and in the evening start the last part of the trail, finishing in Fort Williams.

The west Highland Way,  Scotland

There is some climb with views of the cost that put you into a Lairigmor Valley, with some old old stone houses, some sheep here and there, again more rain. It has been one of my favorite areas of the this trail and it is very accessible for anyone .Getting dark and trying to find somewhere to camp, nothing , walk more, found some possible camps but not perfect, no flat, to much water accumulation  It is one of those that you don't know if it is better to stop and camp or keep walking until find something better, finally it pay off, I found a flat dry area under some tree, thanks god , just what I need it. I am doing over 20 miles days without been in shape so I am struggling at the end of the days. The good news is that there is no midges here. the last days those midges had eaten me alive. Tomorrow last days.

The west Highland Way,  Scotland

The west Highland Way, Scotland , Rannoch Moors

The west Highland Way,  Scotland , Glen Coe entrance

I woke up with the sound of the rain, the rain is here and it would be until the end, weather forecast confirm, rain an more rain. The thing is that even raining it is not cold, is warm, so I still can go with shorts. I waited until 10.00 till rain stop to break camp, breakfast in Tyndrum and keep walking till Bridge of Orchy. I am getting frustrated with all this road noise walking so close to the road.....I though it would be more wild.

The west Highland Way,  Scotland , Rannoch Moors

In the afternoon this changed...First I got a rain shower , got soak and enter into the most inhabitant are of all United Kingdom. First you pass a beautiful lake with a cottage  where it was filmed one of the last movies of James Bond, the trail start to climb into the Rannoch Moor and here is where the sound of any cars disappear. This is the terrains most difficult to live. It is just undulation terrain with water all over. I did all this Moor raining but I really enjoy it, took many pictures. The path that I walk supposed to be built to move troops quickly in the area, are kind of military roads of the past.

The west Highland Way,  Scotland , Rannoch Moors

In the other side of the Valley you can see one of the most iconic valleys of Scotland, Glen Coe, I had the opportunity of drive by but not yet of hike it, this time I have not time. This area is quite special, you can think in all the history involve here and the different wars between the different clans and also the hardness and the beauty of this mountains.

I stop today at the entrance of Glen Coe, still raining. There is a pub just by where I got a drink and water. I decided to eat a sandwiches in the tent instead of cooking something because of the rain. Quite a few people in this camping site. Hopefully tomorrow I have some sun. It has been a long wet day but with a fantastic background. Tomorrow would be able to get very close to Ben Nevis and maybe climb it if there is a good weather forecast. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

The West Highland Way, Scotland

The West Highland Way, Scotland 

Arriving to Glasgow by plan it was impossible to bring a gas canister with me, outdoors shop close earlier in Sunday so I had to go to a Tescos and buy a can of red bull and nail polishing to have a hot dinner. Even in train station doesn't sell disinfection alcohol because is flammable.

The starter was already raining, great ,  just start walking in the rain, leaving this Milngavie town.  Quickly I started to see some red deer here and there, pass a few lakes and had my few encounter in the midges, midges are like mosquitos, and are terrible in Scotland , never stop.
I just walk a few miles and camped in a nice place in the side of the trail , here more midges but with a great view. I thought it would get dark around 10.30 but it never get dark in Scotland. It just get into dusk around
11.30 until 3.30 . Not really need a headlamp. it is like a super full moon.

Next day some side road walk and get into this Iconic Hill where you have a great view of all the Lomon Lake with all its Island. Luckily is sunny, I realize that the resupply in this trail is pub to pub, I don't need more than 1 day of food and half liter of water, water all over.  This first part of the lake has camping restriction so I have to puss to leave this area and be able to camp.  I saw a car nearly falling from a cliff  not sure how driver put car over there , rescue team is on the way.
People carry super heavy bags.......not much sense of ultralight etc.........I had to camp just after the  camp restriction in the side of the trail.  This area could be quite cool to hike around and camp on the beach of the leak, very nice.  There is a water bus boat  running around the lake.

difficult terrain by lake Lomon
Second day started flat, there is quite a lot of dirty road walking , not much trail, dirty walk is easy because you do big mileage but really..... It got into a difficult area, up and downs by the lake, it pass by Rob Roy cave..where he used to hide. I saw people doing this area by bike. They have just to take the bike and carry it in the back, impossible to ride this area. The rest of the day has been quite a lot of walk close to the road, not very good really. you can see a lot of developments around. They are destroying the mountains....... I saw quite a lot of tree recovery plans around to bring back the oak and pines to the region.

campsite in the valley 
At the end I camped in the top of a hill, In a farm land. while cooking I did a time lapse , see below. I am now half way of the way but it would start raining from tonight.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

The west Highland way

After hike the PCT last year I knew that this year would be just something short as I will have just a month Holidays. After being in a quick visit in Scotland I discover the West Highland Way. Just 96 of not very rugged terrain but very beautiful and full  of history 

It is just 96 miles going from the outskirts of Glasgow up to Fort Williams. It is technically part of the Appalachian mountains.... I will try also to do an scape to Ben Nevis, highest point in the Uk, with just over 1000 m. Easy. I have just 5 days so I will have to keep the typical average of the PCT but without any training . I think should be ok as it is quite flat really , it like goes through valleys rather than by crests.

Regarding equipment is basically the same than PCT, ready for a few showers ....Tarp tent... I have a new watch Garmin so I am looking to see how it works and carrying and ebook as luxury. Anyway not much problem for food resupply with a maximum of 2 days from point to point , so easy and light.


After 6 months of finishing the Pct and decided to end the blog of this adventure.
This is my last stop , mu last resupply. Seems ages ago when I started in the Mexican Border. I look completely different. Everything is tear down, much skinny and with a big bear. I look to the picture and I don't recognize me.
Skykomis is a paradise, only connected to the world by boat, it is a beautiful small town in the middle of the Casacades. It remind me the Ness lake in Scotland , a long lake.
I camped again so it is now from Ashland that I don't sleep under a roof. I am being very lucky with the Weather . It has been some rain in Washington, but not much at all. Washington is the best, remote. High Sierras are more beautiful but are full of people, rangers, nice trails. The feeling of remoteness here is unbelievable . In my head this is like Alaska, the last frontier, no civilization, no phone, nobody.
I have to woke up at 3.00 am to be able to call London and change my flight, I am finishing a week earlier , I really smashed Washington with an average of 20 miles per day.
I left this little town after resupply, from the little bus I saw a Mon bear with the little kids. I camped in a designated campsite inside Cascade National Park. I though would be people but nobody. I was alone. I decided to cow boy camp, I did a fire. I start to be sad, probably today is the last cowboy camp. Sad and happy, I would finish in 3 days. I can believe I did it. I am ready for real life?
Next day I crossed rainy pass and climb a few passes. Now we are in the east side of the crest , so it is dryer, you can see that winter is coming . all the tree start to have red and yellow leafs > I was able to camp in the top of a pass , just 50 miles from the border. I set the tent.

I met Sandals and Princess , tortuga and cracker fire on the way to hard pass. I had lunch with them and I saw again Marmots , different colors from the sierras. Hard pass is the last road before the border , next road would be Manning Park in Canada. That night I spot a flat area in a ridge and I have a fantastic sunset while having dinner. Thanks PCT.
I have enough food to finish and I have some treats like coffee and pork scratching and some bourbon. Just doing the last miles while relaxing and enjoying. I met smiley and Mr JT  when they were on the way back from the border. I took the bus with those guys from San Diego to the border and we started together and we camped the first night together. Now I see them the day before finish.
This last part of the PCT is spectacular. It is raining and getting really cold , I did it now even if snows, I will go through . I lost altitude , pass the last lake and I camped 4 miles from the border . Everything is wet , but doesn't matter . Tomorrow I will be dry. No much battery in the camera. Happy And Sad.
Oh god , last day few miles and turn left and I saw, I have been wondering the last 5 months how is that line. It is just that . I line in the forest without trees, I saw it and smile. I shout . hahaha I fucking did it . 2650 miles of everything. Dessert, high sierras , wet forest , bears, snakes, rivers..........fucking done! a life time adventure. The feeling of accomplishment. Done done. There was more people taking some picture and seat by the monument ad did a coffee reading the log book, so many friends ahead of me.
Finally in the Canadian border
That is done for me for a while, I will go to Spain , chill out and after work like a normal person but those 5 months in the wilderness will be there forever. Thanks to the PCT for be such an amazing trail, American people for being so cool, Friends and Family for support and ICC for let me scape for 6 months. I will never forget such a adventure.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Skykomish to Stehekin

I left the Cascadia In after breakfast. I spent some time outside trying to change my flights but I was not able because of the different local times with the London offices of Opodo. Great, the next possibility  would be maybe Stehekin if is real that exist a satellite phone or it would be already in Canada, no cellular services for the next 200 miles....

I went to the main road where the bakery borrow me his huge hitch hike sign, it helped me to get an easy ready to the trial with a nice all hiker couple. The start was an easy climb, it is funny just 24 hours out of the trail and you start missing it. I sat for a few minutes to rest in a ridges when I heard the distinctive sound of fighter SSSSSSSSSSSSSS BOOOM wow it was a F15 , so close , flying over the ridge, right time in the righ place. American wilderness: Bear, lakes and F15s

That night I slept in the top of a mountain called grizzly peak, on my way up I just saw another sunset over the mountains. I found a nice spot in the top where cowboy camping. I started to see mice. It is really a problem in Washington. I set the mouse trap, they eat the food my the trap did not activate it. Learning.

Next day was the first time that I saw blow up a fallen tree with explosives. It was a huge tree cutting twice the trail over switch backs. A few rangers with horses working on it and about an hour after I listen the explosion followed by the smoke. I imagine it is not a mechanical method it is more chemical.....

Getting into camp I saw a hunter with riffle, first one with riffle. They hunt Elk, deer and bear. The bear's meat is eaten over here. I slept in another ridge , the feeling is of solitude , I see one person a day. I know that I am not alone, maybe 20 people walk this trail a day but I don't see them. The day hikers, summer hikers ....all that .. not here and I love it . You feel the remoteness of this places. it is really raw.

Next morning i finish to climb this ridge and get into the glacier peak surroundings, it seems to me like the high sierras, very ruged, those valleys are full of waterfalls , vegetation and glacier rivers. The trails are very pour maintain . There is a fallen tree every 100 metres, or just the trail vanish because of a earth slice.

I was crossing a bridge when I saw a weird animal walking the trail. At the beginning I thought it was a baby bear, carefull !! or not is a marmot?  Not it was pork-spin.  I shout at him, he stop , it raise and put all his spines out , so cool . He was getting piss off . He left the trail very slowly. I never thought I would see this animal over here.

I climb the pass , and it is funny. When you think , maybe I reach the pass and after get flatter. You just can smile and laugh. You just can see another mountain range bigger and more scary , the Northem Cascades!! what is this place? I just have time to descent a little bit and get some protection in the Valley. I was quite lucky to find a little spot by the trail. Today I stick a super nut into the mice trap with KT tape. Before sleep I got 3, plus another annoying did not want to dye. Next day when I woke up the 3 body have disappear, creepy.

This day was marked. It was the craziest day of my PCT,the one that would push my limits  I would have to put everything. From early in the morning it was a drizzle, I was lucky enough to break camp just before it started so I had everything dry. I got into a dense wet fog during the morning until I got enough elevation going throw many switchbacks. It was the switchbacks day also. In the top of the passes the trees disappear and there are only small bushes in the side of the trail. Those plants keep all the water so when you pass you get all that cold water in you foot. In the top I started to panic , I barely could feel them , I could be in trouble. Too much cold water. I need it to loose altitude and get cover under tree line. I needed more speed , more heat. I put headphones , time for Guns and Roses, running down the mountain I warm up . Stop today for hot lunch I really need it. Quick to don't get cold . Stop and go.

I reached the old PCT trail. This is 5 - 7 miles shorter trail. It was a bridges that it was wash out so a reoute was need it. Still  today hiker choose the old trail , more for the extra adventure that for the short cut. You will have to cross the first river plus a classic old pct log crossing.  first you have to cross the first river, I checked around to find a good log but nothing safe and less with the raining day, I was ready to turn back when I thought about just crossing straight, just less check the deep and the strength of the river. It was ok I was in the other side. this trail is not maintain , sometimes you can lost the trail but is quite easy just to follow the tracks of fellow hikers and some signs that people leave around. 

You can start to hear the noise of that big river , wow that is not going to be easy, you reach the botton of the valley, follow some tracks and you see that wet log and that angry river. that is it, that is the cross, ufff  it is possible it is wide enough I can do it. Fuck I am alone, If i fell , nobody will find me.Should I leave a note? Should I turn back and walk 10 miles , 10 miles for 10 metres of log crossing no way, I do it now, I do it, I do it. Ok Warm up, some push up , jumps, ready ready. water prove electronics, unzip backpack in case of fall. I have the theory......should I crawl or straight over, that is it. Straight over no poles no nothing. Focus focus, not slippery, not stop.The noise was the worst. In a micro second when I was in the middle I thought about stop( I am afraid to highs ) I just keep going. Done hahahahahahah  what is next? what ? But not trail in the other side . Tracks goes to many different directions. I just took GPS directions and climb the mountain straight up until I got back into PCT. I was more relaxed.

During the afternoon I did the second climb o f the day. I pass the old miners camp site and I reach the top in dark, still raining. I should get a camp site just after but I miss it. I had just a few metres visibility with the dark and the rain. So next possibility is about 1.5 miles ahead, let's go. I found the area where it suppose to find that campsite, it was full of rocks, I left the trail I check GPS phones was not working. I realise has water all over, shit. I cross some snow fields close to a river. What the fuck I am doing , snowfields at night, what about if I loss the trail . I shout , I shout " any F hikers there" I am destroy. Only the noise of the rain. O man , just chill out and keep walking . The trail was a river all over and I start to worry again about the foot. I had a very funny deer encounter. It scare me as I saw first two big eyes in the dark. It was there, in the middle of the trail, seated in the dark, It did not want to move, it was dry under a big tree. I got very close, 1 meter. It stand up , it was shaken , poor. Yes mate , we are both fuck without a place where to sleep mate but I need to continue, I just pass around. I could touch it. Respect my friend. 

It could be 11 and no idea where I was . This is over. I set the tent in the middle of the trail. I sleep before on the trail but never set the tent. 14 hours hike , maybe 26 miles hike with a gain elevation of 2 Km. I roll inside the tent and got a couple of shots of Bourbon to collapse. I an using it as base layer.......What a crazy day and I did not see a single person. I just pass away.

The morning ufffff. I knew this situation would arrive , shoes wet, socks wet , I mean everything is wet. Push ups and suck it out ....Go Go Go . It was not so bad. I  was thinking to get a hotel bed in Stehiken, I am doing 40 days without a bed, from Ashland.  It is part of my challenge. In the first 1500 miles I stop quite a lot in hotels doing a slow advance. Now, I got use to , more in shape , more fit, I just stop few hours in town, get shower, washing....

When I started to go down the Valley the sun started to bright . Thanks god, big moral burst. I was thinking to reach town at 18.00 but apparently I did a bunch of miles at night and I was closer than I thought. I was there by three. On the way I saw one of those huge tree fell down, It happen just in front of me being lucky enough that the gigant fall in other direction. 

I was in Norther Cascades National Park. I crossed the Glacier Peak Wilderness. I come to the PCT and I really found it . The Glacier Peak with his beauty and brutality, what an experience. Really it helped me a lot all what I learned during the last 2500 miles to keep still in the difficult moments. Stehekin is a small location  that can be reached by boat or walking the mountain . There I met many many hikers, I finally camp so still no hotel room. We have steak and beers....was time to celebrate it. It is the last stop before Canada!!!! 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Snoqualmie to Skykomish

Leaving Snoqualmie I was not sure if take a shorter detour that pass by a popular  hot spring or continue the PCT. A fellow hiker explain that next miles were the katwalk , hiker heaven and one of the best parts of the PCT. With this description I have not choice PCT route. It paid off, the trail it get into the crest of the mountain, leaving little space for error. Trail is cut just by the cliff, you can see  in the distance Mt rainier. I decided to camp earlier as I found an spot with grate views.

The place was super windy so I started to build a wind cutter with rocks. A hiker arrived close to dark. it was rocket lama with her characteristic calm. rocket Lama is well know in the trail for her draws and her story of the early snow in 2014. I asked about that.....It is funny how calm she tell you all the details. we have dinner with this sunset over Rainier, have some whisky to prepare our self for a cold Night. It was actually the coolest night of the PCT, it was windy without tent, I couldn't sleep much. i was looking to Rocket Lama , she was sleeping ok......for me was impossible, not sure  if sleeping bag was not very floozy or what. Thanks I ordered some more layers for  the last part of Washington. I am getting worry, I am very cold some nights....

Prepared for wind cold night

This area is very beautiful.  Typical Washington. Most of the bridges has been was out but not difficult crossings. I try my first cascade picture  with a good result I believe, see below.

At lunch time I realize I lost my mach mix bag. Shit, most of the things are replaceable, but shit I have the passport..  Where I leave it? in the campsite or mid morning break.... All the way up back to campsite. I will have to exit of the trail to resupply, I am too short of food.......I need the passport. I started to walk  back and I found Rocket Lama, She was surprised to see me walking south. I asked her if she saw anything no....... A while after I saw Giant , I explain that I lost my passport. Wait a minute, I just found a hiker bag maybe is yours, THANKS my bag with all my stuff., lucky day, lost and found again. Second time I lost my passport in the PCT!!! lucky me.

To recover the mileage of the day I decided to night hike a little bit. It is always nice, I love it for 1 hour. Before in the dessert I used to be scare , but now I fell so comfortable, relax and enjoy. Camp at night have some dinner with some music  and warm up body with some bourbon. I camped in the side of the valley.

Next day I went down to the valley and to another climb I found a part of the Gypsy town, I had lunch with them and a few jumped in this clear lake. Clear and cold. I camped with them at night , we were a bunch of people by a small lake. Have some great story time. Last day was a little bit of climb and after the way down. I saw a group of LLamas , very cool and a naked hiker. In the distance you can see the sky lifts , the last push to the ridge and we were in Skykomish.

Swimming lake

I got a ride the back of a pick up track, here it is legal I believe. the destination is the Dinsmores  . It is a family that host hikers. I fell very welcome here. it was around 25 hikers. At this time we know each other. At night some music and drinks. I got my resupply box and merino Wool top for the cold Washington. Thanks Dinsmores for your support!!  Weather still good. I can not believe how many sunny days we are having. Everything going well , looks like I can finish this.