Pumpkin Mountain Camp (741.4) to Twin Rocks Camp (761.0)
Rocks and Cara showed up late yesterday evening. We ended up leapfrogging today and camped in the same spot again.
After a wonderful sunrise above the mountain today’s hike started nice and cool. The trail went through a jungle-like Forest with big Cedar trees. After weeks of hiking through burned areas and areas with thin trees it was nice to see all these big trees. One was fallen and it’s root was probably double the size of me.
The trail went kind of level for about seven miles before I officially entered the North Cascades National Park. Short after the rather unspectacular sign the trail started climbing towards Beaver Pass. The climb was hot and quite steep and I was sweating from all pores. I was glad that there was no water shortage in the Cascades and I hiked across multiple creeks every day where I could fill my bottle. I didn’t even have to carry much!
Up on Beaver Pass was a shelter and I joined Cara and Rocks who were sitting in front of it for lunch. Cara was robed into her rain clothes to fight the flies. Somehow there were tons of biting flies in this area. Must be some kind of hidden National Park attraction… I hated these flies and killed at least 50 over the course of today. But the other 50000 were not impressed!
After the pass and a nice break with my trail friends I descended down some switchbacks to Stillwell – another campsite at the river. A short bushwhack would lead to the other side and hit the main trail again. Crazy as I was I opted for the bushwhack to save a bit of time. It looked short on the map. Two minutes after I had left the campsite I stood in the middle of thorny bushes! Breathe and keep calm, there’s a way out, I told myself. And indeed there was something like a trail leading to the river. The bushwhack included crossing a raging river on logs. Well… thank god no one saw my performance as I went down on my knees to rob over the logs to the other side.
Thankfully I reunited with the trail and hiked another couple of miles to Twin Rocks – my dedicated campsite for the night. Cara and Rocks are here too. They had changed their plans to camp here too and be in a better position for tomorrow’s climb up Whatcom Pass.