July 30, 2012

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White pass to chinook pass: much more snow than we expected! Snow on all north facing slopes and in all lake basins. No visable trail for many miles, map and or GPS required. The sun was melting away any footprints within hours. Dangerous steep snow chutes the last mile into chinook pass; microspikes and poles were helpful and saved us from nasty falls twice! Lots of water in this area. There is some melted out camping on Dewey lake at the far north end, but most lake areas are snow or mud covered. Mosquitos were vicious through here and didn’t respond to deet. Lastly, when you get to the shelter (which has 6-12″ of water in it) you should continue to the right around the lake! There is yellow ribbon marking the WRONG trail off the left through the snow! It’ll save you a lot of time if you don’t go the wrong way:)

Chinook pass to Stampede Pass: snow free! Even above 6500ft! Watch your water supply, there is no water from saddle gap for about 11 miles and in other stetches in this area. We were caught off guard since the water had been so plentiful before Chinook. The off trail water sources indicated on our gps, postholer maps, and halfmiles app were all well marked and running stong. We did run into some bright orange arrows along the trail an some junctions, we’re not sure what they were for but didnt follow them as our maps said it wasn’t the PCT!

The outhouse under the powerlines is still there but VERY full and splashing is possible! Also the toilet seat is not attached, don’t fall in!!

We were passed by 4 Southbound and 5 northbound thru hikers, including Mouse, Dwayne, and Alex