February 11, 2010

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The PCT detour around Glacier Peak is well below any standard. Me and my friend have hiked all of Oregon and now all of Washington and this was the worst section by far. We hiked the detour 2, 3 and 4 Aug 09. The combination of steep inclines, POOR trail condition (narrow, rocky, overgrown), and difficult to find or follow at crucial times, make a tough section needlessly dangerous as well. From the White River trail head to the Chiwawa River Road was the worst section of the detour and the Napeequa River was the worst part of that section. The river may have been unusually high when we went through causing some additional sloughs to form, making finding the right crossing point difficult. Not sure we found it as once across, we searched much of the morning looking for the trail through chest high stinging grasses, dense brush, etc. No markers, no tape, no anything. Unless you find a big tree across the Chiwawa River, you will not be able to cross it. It is too deep and too swift, at least when we were there. Before the trip I called the forest service and they were unanimous in urging hikers NOT to take the PCT because of the Suiattle River. Through hikers have had to take the detour for approximately 7 years now, it is time the detour gets the needed maintenance if they aren’t going to fix the old PCT route.