Since I’m all about exploring the Snoqualmie Pass area these days, we took a long hike up to Kendall Katwalk to scope out the surrounding peaks. It was typical early fall weather, drifting clouds and drizzle, so we didn’t have great views of the interior peaks (including Chikamin, one I’ve had my eye on after reading the Cascade Alpine Guide) but it was a good reminder of how steep some of the couloirs can be once you leave the main Snoqualmie Pass valley.
According to Caltopo, it’s 6 miles to the Katwalk (2700 ft of gain) and another 6 miles to the base of Chikamin, where you depart from the PCT and start 2000 ft of class 2 scrambling. Before this weekend, I was sure Chikamin was doable as a single night overnight, but based on how long it took us to get to the Katwalk, might be more like two nights! Time for some lighter packs, or a bit more fitness :)
Along our hike we got passed by plenty of thru hikers making their way up to Canada. September and early October are peak season for the Washington leg, and I felt like 1 out of 5 people we saw on the trail were thru hikers. Such small packs, such fast hikers, and such strong smells! One one girl had me cracking up as she tried to turn her space blanket into a makeshift pack cover. Laughing at the absurdity in the wind and rain, she told us “This is so much work, I’m never going to make it up this hill…. just kidding!! I’ve been out here for a while, and all my jokes are weird.” Crazy to think she’d most likely been hiking for at least 4 months already!