Day 143 – Knife’s Edge

The pictures will say more than words can here. It was a very wet and very cold day. We didn’t leave camp until after 9am in order to give any snow or ice on the upcoming ridge a chance to melt.

It was a steep climb up to the Knife’s Edge. We had moved above the morning mist and straight into the clouds above.

Before the edge we had to cross a glacier. We met a south bounder who gave us some instructions. “Follow the line of dirt and horse poop” was the way we were going to find the trail at the other end. It was slippery and streams of ice melt poured down and away from the glacier.

Once in the other end we came to a fork in the road. A small, difficult side loop led up to the peak of Snowy Mountain. We opted to stay on the PCT which connected with the other alternate only a few hundred yards away at the Knife’s Edge. We weren’t going to be getting any grand views today anyway.


Supposedly one of the most beautiful parts of the trail, Knife’s Edge and Goat Rocks were clouded in mystery for us. With dense fog and winds gusting somewhere around 50mph, we nervously stepped forward onto the edge. Through breaks in the mist we could see the glaciers and steep drop offs on either side of us that could easily lead to a hiker’s death.

Bushtit urged me onward several times. Not because I was too scared to move onward, but because I was amazed by all of the unique plants and rocks we were coming across. I wish I had more time for pictures, but the wind was so cold we seriously worried about frostbite on our cheeks.

We passed one couple going southbound who told us to keep an eye out ahead for some llamas and goats they had spotted.

After forever we began to step down from the Knife’s Edge into an amazingly beautiful valley of green things. We couldn’t see much, but what we could was astounding. Some of the best scenery I had seen since the Sierras.

We did spot the llamas! But no goats. The llamas were too far away for an easy picture as they grazed high up on a ridge. Supposedly a trail crew had lost them some time ago, so now they’re just living with the goats!

We were still freezing. Once we finally made it below the tree line we stopped for a very quick, very late lunch and then kept on trucking.

We spotted a couple of marmots and an elk before the day was done. We camped with GG at a lake just short of reaching White Pass. Warm food awaited us in the morning once we made it to the store!

To some Goat Rocks is the most stunning part of the PCT. We’ve promised ourselves a return trip next year or sometime soon so that we can see all of its beauty in clear weather!

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