The next morning (our first day on the trail) our amazing crew for day one—Ana, Adam, and Sharon—had water boiling at 4:45 a.m. and we were packed and ready to go by 5:45 a.m. Rainier’s Wonderland Trail in 3 days involving pain and suffering. We needed something large enough but still form-fitting enough to allow us to run comfortably, so ideally in the 15-20 litre range. We finally hit the descent to Nickel’s Creek, and moaned about our feet as we worked our way downhill. This next sections don’t really stand out in my mind for anything except that we kept going up and down, through the trees and out in the open. Build a custom itinerary for hiking Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail. For those thinking of hiking the Wonderland Trail, my advice is to not race through paradise, if you can spare the time. level 2 My husband had hiked down to the Mowich a couple of weeks earlier to check out the crossings there. Basically, everything between Summerland and Indian Bar are part of what I consider heaven on earth—beautiful meadows, high alpine ecosystems, stellar views of the Mountain! All photos copyright Sarah Brouwer and me. Put on my shoes and I’m out of the tent. From here, we had about 11 miles and 3400 feet of gain to get to our next major landmark: Klapatche Park. I was up before the alarm. Once across, we had a long hot climb up to St. Andrews Lake. We both decided on the Salomon Agile 17 litre, a stretch-fit pack designed for running with one main compartment, mesh side pockets along with pockets on the waist harness, and Salomon’s usual ‘4D pole holder’ for our running poles – yes, running pole… They said they would give us each a life vest from their gear, but that the thin nylon rope and the life vest were no guarantees of our safety: the rope would probably break if we fell and our heads would probably be bashed by rocks before the vests could save us. This bridge also was partly submerged, so feet that had made it across the first channel dry now got to get wet anyway. Rainier who have some running background and are capable of handling back to back weeks of 30 miles of easy aerobic running to start with and building to nearly 55 mile weeks that include one high intensity session. If you think about it, that would translate to “Nightmare” and it was indeed a nightmare of bugs. At Mystic Lake, we all needed to refill our water and then we were off again. Viewer beware….this video is 50 minutes long, so prepare for a lengthy view of my Wonderland Trail hike #32, Enjoy! Tentatively on the docket for the year: Running Around Mt. At Golden Lakes, I split off from Wendy and Heidi—with whom I’d spent the last couple of hours—and set off downhill toward the Mowich River, trying to catch up with the rest of the group. Rainier’s Wonderland Trail in 3 days involving pain and suffering. At Panhandle Gap—the highest point on the Wonderland at 6800 feet—we toasted with a few sips of whisky. I—and the others—had been very attentive to our hydration, food, and electrolytes all day and it had paid off. Our first destination would be Summerland, a long-time favorite of mine. At St. Andrews Lake, we encountered a family of four (the kids were 6 and 8). Rainier National Park, eat at the National Park Inn at Longmire, sleep at Cougar Rock Campground. 20 miles/wk is a very small base for steep 30 mile back to back runs three days in a row. Pain and Suffering: Wonderland Trail in 3 Days February 12, 2014 by Steve I schlepped a camera on my 2009 thru hike to record a different Vidcast (see below, You're a Wimp! Even as I was packing, I had doubts about my focus and questioned whether I had the level of commitment in my heart to pull this off. There, Elly was waiting to accompany us the final 5 miles back to Longmire. Crossing the bridge was a thrill, and we all acted like children squealing and laughing as we bounced our way across one at a time. Olympic Coast Route: The hardest thing I didn’t finish, Affords hikers and runners views of all sides of Mt. Rainier, Wanders through forests and meadows, crosses streams and rivers, passes by lakes and glaciers, and climbs and drops and climbs and drops through continuously breathtaking terrain, Sunday, July 29: Drive to Mt. Translation: I was cocky, didn’t take the day as seriously as I had the day before, and I just about trashed the trip for myself as a result. Group sites are available at certain camps for parties of 6 to 12 persons. She gave each of us a wonderful hug, and seriously it was like a smile in my soul! The night before, our friends Elly, Angel, and Tim had arrived to replace Ana and Adam and supplement Sharon, Mike, and Bill as crew, cheer, and support. This news definitely affected our outlooks. He was quite plump and cute! It’s about 8 miles, with 1500 feet gain and 2100 loss, to Golden Lakes, our next major landmark. Overall was around 93 miles of hiking with 44,000 feet of elevation gain and loss over the course of 6 days… That said, Wonderland is beautiful and I hope you enjoy it. Parties requiring space for 3 or more tents must camp in a group site. Change ). Use this unofficial tool to plan your hiking itinerary for the Wonderland Trail. A trail that could be cruel and giving. After the Winthrop, you traverse gently up and down to Granite Creek and then ascend several hundred feet through forest. At its high point, the Wonderland Trail passes over Panhandle Gap, just shy of 6,800 feet. Another group conference later, we remained split and agreed those of us who were ready to cross would, and if the remaining group members weren’t comfortable they’d wait the 3 hours and cross later. ), I charged ahead, ignoring my watch chimes that I have programmed to remind me to eat, drink, and take electrolytes routinely. The planning, the LONG ups, the LONG downs, and the emotional roller coaster in-between. Each camp has 1 to 8 sites for 1 to 5 persons per site. Capturing both the glory and the pain and supplemented… Wonderland Trail in 3 Days: Day 3 … The stories definitely did not make it sound easy, but 93 miles split into 3 days, at an average pace of 3mph, that’s just an average of 11 hours a day. I switched my headlamp on with just over a mile to go. I dressed, forced down food and changed out my day three food bag to include a quart-sized baggy of chips. Love to all! I read the stories of others who had completed the Wonderland Trail in one, two or three days, and emailed some of them asking for advice. Who is hiking? I spent a lot of that time reflecting on the journey, on what I had learned about myself and about my friends, on what I could do to be a better group member and person, on the giving and supportive friends and spouses who contributed to our trip, to our friends who did not start or could not finish, to my children who waited at home for me. It’s amazing! So, when we got there, we decided to wait for the group to be whole again so we could be assured of everyone’s safety. Ultimately, all of us crossed. Rainier on the Wonderland Trail in three days. To travel this trail is to experience the many faces, ecosystems, beauty, and savagery of the mountain. I was able to do most days before sun down except for a … The trail is relatively smooth, it’s not too steep, it’s all downhill, and it’s the homestretch. In 2009 I was filming the Wonderland Trail for a Vidcast and talked to the camera about how it was going for me. In 2009 I authored a journey of Mt. We were all in awe of the parents, as none of us with kids could imagine ours being out there doing what they were doing. My clothes are dry, cold and starting to stink. It was unnerving—because the water was so brown from the silt is was carrying, when the waves of water crossed the bridge I’d lose sight of my feet and the bridge itself. They were some of the longest, most demoralizing miles of my life. Here, the river had carved a new channel the day before, and we had to rock hop and finally just walk through the water to get to the bridge over the main channel. We also heard that a man had been washed off the log bridge the day before and had died. His teenaged son had run for help, and that morning helicopters had been out searching for the body. I was not in good shape that year and endured a bit of suffering, finally finishing on day 3 at 2:20 AM. We had reserved a site at Cougar Rock Campground for the night before, and we were all settled by about 9:30 or 10. My! Capturing both the glory and the pain and supplemented… Wonderland Trail in 3 Days: Day … There was no way I was going to be able to continue the next day. We pushed into a run to get out of there and soon arrived at Indian Henry’s Hunting Ground. Since then, I always know what I’m in for, and I warned everyone else in advance. Eighteen trailside camps, 3 to 7 miles (5 to 11 km) apart, are located along the Wonderland Trail. friend. It was delicious!) Members. I pack all my “need to stay dry” gear into my dry bag. There are a number of different starting points for the Wonderland Trail and it can be hiked clockwise or counterclockwise. Wednesday, Day 1: Meet in Ashford WA There was a work crew on the other side of the river, and they were there to install a railing to make the crossing safer. Flower-coated meadow. I grew hotter and I started not to feel well. Day 2: Mowich Lake to White River Campground. I found it all. The trail starts rather anticlimactically by running along the road for a bit, and then starts heading up Rampart Ridge (and ironically taking us right by Cougar Rock campground). But when we got there, we not only found the river pouring over parts of the bridge in waves, we also encountered a ranger who strongly advised against crossing. In 2009 I authored a journey of Mt. It’s 0545 and I’m up. The day started with a long descent down a stunning canyon to Ipset Creek and ultimately the Carbon River. And some people give of themselves to be your crew, to help make it happen for you. ( Log Out /  Mike found a bridge on the North Mowich, but the South Mowich had to be forded. ( Log Out /  Those things always happen so quickly, and luckily she slid into a tree which stopped her downhill progress. Oh! Instructions: Select your start and end trailheads, number of days, and hiking direction. Our climbing was essentially done! The Wonderland Trail is an amazing, rugged 95-mile loop around Mt. In fact, I don’t think any of us have peed during a day on the trails as much as we had that day. One of the the really cool things about the Wonderland Trail is that you can cache food at certain locations around the trail. And then suddenly we were at Louise Lake! After the climb, everything caught up with me. The first time I did the climb out of Indian Bar, it kicked my butt. When our friend, Marna, did the Wonderland last year, the Mowich bridge was out and it made for a sketchy crossing. Circumnavigating the mountain’s glaciated flanks lies the Wonderland Trail. Wonderland Trail by Minji Kim 7/3/2018 1600pm-2000pm: White River to Granite Creek (8.4mi / 13.5km, Elevation Gain & Loss: 910m & 432m, Total Distance: 8.4mi / 13.5km) Clearly salt was still high on the body-needs-this list. Angel, Tim, and Elly headed back down toward Summerland and their cars, and we headed onward. It was along this descent that Heidi stepped on a loose rock the wrong way and was suddenly sliding off the trail. The mountains are serious business. A steep and rocky trail took us the mile and a half from the top of Emerald Ridge to the South Puyallup River and a stunning suspension bridge. When I was in my 20s, I went on two backpacking trips with my brother, Rob, and his friend, Kip, in the High Sierras of California. I am twelve miles into a 35 mile day, and I haven’t stopped grinning since the first step. We then headed off toward our last climb of the trip. It was fun to revisit those memories as I ascended the same way. I shared my own situation, and I think we both were in the same state of mind. After the heat of the day and the long climb, the cool mountain lake water … simply utter and complete bliss! This year’s “big adventure” destination landed squarely in our Pacific Northwest backyard: seven of us—Kari, Kelli, Wendy, Heidi, Sarah, Vivian, and I—decided to go around Mt. Fastpack the Wonderland Trail: Day Three. 3 Days. Mike encouraged me to make the call the next morning, and see how I felt after a night’s sleep. From Sunrise to White River is 3 downhill miles. At Box Canyon, we marveled at all the people and cars and used flush toilets and washed our hands with soap and water. I also ate a bunch of chips. This was the second person to die in a river crossing in the past five days (there would be one more we’d learn about later), and we were definitely concerned. Rainier, that shows off its volcanic nature as well as its meadows and forests and glaciers. In part due to a deflated sleeping pad, in part due to the fact my body was getting used to the 5am wake-up. From Mowich Lake we send runners on the Spray Park section of the Wonderland. … As we waited, the day continued to warm and my earlier “Sunrise-or-bust” attitude started to tear me apart. I simply know that I am blessed. I then ran to the bathroom to take care of the other side of things. However, I didn’t feel any force from the water and it was actually a relatively easy crossing. She also shared that she was the first person the teenaged boy had found after his father was swept into Winthrop Creek, and that it continued to weigh heavily on her mind. While we debated our course of action and looked at the bridge, we literally watched the water level rise. Cabin tucked into the woods beside the meadow. I finally caught them after a couple of miles and enjoyed their spontaneous rap songs (with Skat Master Sarah as DJ) and silliness. I would think you need to up your mileage substantially. A bucket list adventure for sure!! However, it would be a wait before they could complete the work. I responded with a miserable, “I don’t care.” Just as we arrived at the parking lot of Sunrise Visitor Center, my stomach called BS and I puked up the little that was left in my stomach into the bushes. I was hoping we could order, eat and go in 30 minutes. With a 10 day itinerary, we decided to take advantage of only one cache location, and that was at Longmire. It was a good reminder that things can and do happen on the trails! After crossing Kautz Creek, we continued our way up. This time when we invited her to join us, she jumped at the offer, and we were once again a group of seven. It was insanely gorgeous! Alexandra Partington (alexandrapartington) danpartington (danpartington2) Robin (robin86692989) Ssroly (ssroly) Lists. Up again at 5 a.m., we were slower at getting ready and finally left camp at 6:30 a.m. In other words, I wasn’t thinking well. None of us wanted to leave, but all of us wanted to get to Mowich at some point that evening, so we resigned ourselves to putting back on our shoes and packs and heading out. wife. As for me, I left camp queasy, uncertain, and determined. The Wonderland Trail in 3 Days (Day 1) September 10, 2013 By Joe Bauer 0 Comments. runner. When my alarm rang at 5 a.m., I drank another bottle of water. This section ascends just under 2000 feet over 3ish miles, and it becomes another one of those breathtakingly beautiful places along the Wonderland Trail. In recent years, I’ve covered the section along the Carbon River to the Carbon Glacier, the section between Frying Pan Creek Trailhead and Box Canyon five times, and the section from Sunrise to Mystic Lake. That series is segmented into each day as I talk to the camera and chronicle my sojourn. It seemed possible that we would have to turn back and give up on our trip. However, being recently retired, I had some mileage under my belt and 11 more years of experience. I wish I had some definitive, trademarkable bit of wisdom to share, but I don’t. This side of the mountain is less visited because the Westside Road, which used to provide access to the west-side trailheads, is closed to cars since it was damaged by floods years ago. After some discussion, most of us felt confident about going, but not everyone. Hiking the Wonderland Trail guidebook contains itineraries from 7-13 days both clockwise and counterclockwise, starting from the most popular locations (Longmire, Sunrise and Mowich Lake). That family and another couple were swimming and cooling off in the lake, and we quickly joined them. Most people take 10-12 days to complete the Wonderland Trail—Washington’s iconic circumnavigation of its tallest peak—but we had signed up to do it in six. Our first views of the Mountain came as we crossed the Kautz Creek at about 3.5 miles. We invited her to join us, but she cheerfully shook her head and later passed us at a nice clip. But I’m ahead of myself …. Our first landmark, at 5.5 miles and 2500 feet, was Devil’s Dream. There’s also a “Wonderland Trail” page on FB with lots of ongoing discussion, tips, trail reports, etc. There was lots of discussion about the pros and cons of starting points and directions, but ultimately we chose to start and end at Longmire and to go clockwise. Ugh. This humble yet inspiring path weaves through ancient forests, flows through flower filled meadows, and climbs the many steep ridges cut from the mountains powerful systems of fire and ice. It was clear to me that my trip was up. The rangers told us we could wait another 3 hours for them to finish the bridge in order to be safer. Rainier on the Wonderland Trail in three days. I was frustrated with myself for mistakes over the day. The Wonderland Trail is a 150 km route that circumnavigates Mt. Wonderland Trail Day 3: North Puyallup River to Golden Lakes. Rainier’s Wonderland Trail in 3 days involving pain and suffering. Wonderland Trail: 95 Miles Total Elevation Gain: 23,810’ At 14,410’ Mt. Because big waterfalls, alpine meadows, and ridge lines that touch glaciers are … As the sunlight waned, we worked our way up our final 2,000 foot climb over 3ish miles. All text copyright me. Without a doubt, Moraine Park—with Moraine Creek, wildflowers, and incredible views of the Mountain—was a highlight. That series is segmented into each day as I talk to the camera and chronicle my sojourn. We popped out on the road and felt a sense of dislocation with the sudden change of scenery, but quickly returned to the forest for more climbing. I took some Advil and drank a bottle of water. Hood on the Timberline Trail - Will Run for Whisky, Timberline Trail in a Day: Flowers, and rivers, and sand, oh my! This section is mostly forested and a bit of a grind. Full prices from: €1,075.00 per person The right people enhance the experience and make each moment bigger, better, and simply more fun. Rainier, with our 7,230 metres of elevation gain. But, I was frustrated about the bridge situation, I was a little scared, and I just wanted to keep going. A number of side hikes along the way will tempt more miles from you. I really liked this area: it’s alpine-y, with huge views of glaciers, moraines, and waterfalls, and the area was awash in color from magenta and orange paintbrush and dozens of other flowers that I don’t know the names of. My trip would never have happened if it were just me out there, alone and without purpose. With age comes wisdom, and this transit was essentially much easier than 2009….although the days were still long, coming in at 17 hours each. my life. Elly, Angel, and Tim quickly caught up with us, and it made for cheery conversation to catch up with them. 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