Wow. Today was so tiring. I haven't felt like this since the Sierra last year. I hiked out around six and left around the same time as Eowyn. The smoke was pretty bad in the morn and we both bummed as we headed up cispus pass. Once I got over the first part and over, you see the goat rocks. I could also see the bright pink sun smothered behind the smoke, making the exposed climb up the pass much bearable. I stopped so many times to take some detail shots. It was gorgeous. I finally got over the pass and headed down into the goat rocks and the basin. So amazing. Even w all the smoke. Tons of running water and saw some tents camped in the basin. What an amazing place.
I kept hiking and wondered when I was ever going to reach the most talked about section on the Pct, the knife edge. The trail leading up was exposed, hot and only a bit breezy. Thousands of tiny Christmas colored grasshoppers jumped back and forth between my legs for miles. I just kept climbing higher and higher until I finally hit a snow path which wasn't sketch but it's the first one since thielsen! I finally rounded the corner and saw the junction that diverges from stock vs hiker route. I took a small break using service before I went out. For some reason, I kept reading to take a left at junction so I did. I saw two snow patches and thought that was a bit strange since I had read there was no snow on the knife edge. I saw some hikers coming that way and asked if the snow was sketch. I was a bit nervous. Also, from afar, I though the knife edge was still ahead of me and I hadn't reached it yet. This snow was maybe just before it? I knew the stock route was sketchy bc of the snow but it didn't click. I crossed the snow slowly and safely. The last one has this sketchy steep dirt crumble I had to climb up which was the most sketch.
I finally reached the second junction and was ready for the knife edge. I saw Eowyn ahead of me and finally caught up to her. She told me she went up the alternate which was the knife edge. All of sudden, I found out I went the wrong way on the stock route. I can't believe I did that! I was majorly bummed but she said it was really scary and exposed. But my snow patch was also really scary. I've waited so long to walk this and now I find out I took the wrong route. Sad day. Basically this entire section looked like a knife edge so I had no clue. I guess I wouldn't have saw anything anyways bc of the smoke but it still looked so insane looking straight down on the trail. The rest of the walk was exposed on the rock and steep climbs. I was getting really thirsty for fresh water and feet were killing.
We finally get down from the ridges and get water. Took a long lunch under some shade. We were both so so exhausted. We had only gone 10.5 miles and it was already 1pm. Everything just hurt. It felt good to lay down though. Then it was back to hiking until camp. I decided to only hike to the last water source before the hill up to white pass. I met Eowyn there and we found out from her husband the section after white pass is closed from the fire at rainier. That's why we've been getting so much smoke. We were both so so bummed. Her more so than me bc I've seen rainier before. I felt so bad. She's missed almost every pretty part of Oregon and now it's happening again in WA. I hope she'll still continue the trail though. I've enjoyed leap frogging her even though she normally does way bigger days but the last few, we've been on the same mileage and breaks. Tom is eight miles to white pass. I hope there's service so we can fig out what to do w this closure. I really hope this is the last one for the year.