Monday, July 06, 2015

Kendall Katwalk and My First Time on the PCT

Last Friday I had the amazing opportunity to join a group of runners on an adventure up the Pacific Crest Trail to the Kendall Katwalk

My Garmin map.

We thought the run (well, mostly hike on the way up!) would be 11 miles round-trip. My Garmin said 12.25 and others' watches said 12.5 or more. It took us a bit over four hours. The total elevation gain from my Garmin said 3,021, which was also more than indicated it would be.

Eight of us met at the trailhead just after 7:00 am for the trek. The route mostly went up, up, up all the way to Kendall Katwalk. The trail varied, sometimes under a lush forest cover, sometimes winding back and forth on exposed switch backs. Over rocks and streams and through fields. It was an incredibly gorgeous run/hike!

Mount Rainier was out (which is what us PNWers say when you can see Mt. Rainier-- "the mountain is out!") and views up near the Katwalk were breath-taking. I had never run anywhere so beautiful!

Sally leading the way up near the Katwalk.

The Kendall Katwalk itself does not have a view of Mt. Rainier, it faces more east. We did spot some patches of snow up there, guessing with a wetter winter and a cooler spring/summer there would have been more!

Stopping at the Katwalk for a break, food, and photos.

Sally and I on the Katwalk.

One of the views from the Katwalk.

The Kendall Katwalk is a great turn-around point for day-trippers like us. Half of our group extended their run to 22 miles round trip and continued on along the PCT a bit further before heading back. They encountered more incredible views and a couple of lakes! Of course, you can keep hiking the PCT north all the way to Canada!  

More views.

Sally, Jennifer and Amanda on the way back down. 

Looking down over where I-90 cuts through Snoqualmie Pass. 

Mt. Rainier in all her glory!

Sally heading back down the trail.

Sally admiring the view. 

Hard to see, but almost in the middle of the picture are Amanda and Jennifer. 

Coming through a rocky section. 

One of our last big views before heading down to tree cover. 

Most of the trail was quite technical. When I was running my eyes were fixed down at the trail. If I wanted to look up, I had to stop or slow to a shuffle to take it all in! There were also a decent amount of other trail users out that day. Some had huge backpacks on and appeared to be out for a longer adventure, some people didn't seem to be carrying even a water bottle (not quite sure how smart that would be on such a warm day!)

The temperature at the start was just over 60* and was about 20 degrees higher by the time we finished. The way up was quite pleasant and we were hit cool breezes periodically, which helped a lot. About halfway down I was finally pretty hot and by the time we reached the parking lot I was definitely completely spent!

Getting to tag along on group adventures helps expose me to parts of the northwest I would never travel to on my own. I am so incredibly lucky to know some tough, adventurous, and very cool runners who enjoy making these kinds of trips happen.

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