May 26, 2010

Wonderland Trail Permits

You might be wondering where in the world have the Northern Rangers been? Well, the truth is we've been hitting the gym and bicycling. But don't worry, we'll be hiking again soon.

Mainly to help get us prepared for the Wonderland Trail.

That's right, Jeff and I got our permits.

I am pretty excited as this is not the easiest permit to obtain. We planned our route and sent in the application on March 15. That is the first day you could send them in. The rangers started reviewing the applications and granting permits to hikers on April 1. The trail is red line in the picture above.

And I'm so happy that we got our permit.

Here's what our trip looks like:

July 22- Mowich Lake Camp
July 23- Carbon River Camp
July 24- Granite Creek Camp
July 25- White River Camp
July 26- Indian Bar Camp
July 27- Maple Creek Camp
July 28- Pyramid Creek Camp
July 29- So. Puyallup River Camp
July 30- Golden Lakes Camp
July 31- So. Mowich River Camp
Aug 1-Mowich Lake Trailhead and out of the wild.

Check out a profile map of the trial here.

The map shows all of the elevation gains along the trail. It certainly isn't flat. That's why we have been training.

Here's what Mount Rainier National Park says about the trail:

The Wonderland Trail is 93 miles (150kms) long and encircles Mt. Rainier. It is a strenuous hike with lots of elevation gain and loss, through lowland forests and valleys and into high alpine and sub-alpine areas.

Perhaps the biggest aspect in planning to hike the Wonderland Trail is you knowing your hiking skills, abilities and habits. Rangers cannot tell you that. Nobody knows your skill level better than you. This is important when laying the foundation for your trip... selecting the proper distance between campsites.

Do you live and hike primarily in mountainous terrain and climates, or lower elevation areas? Hiking on flat terrain for 93 miles is far easier than having to climb up three thousand feet with a full pack day, after day, after day. This sounds like something that should not have to be stated, but we often see hikers going beyond their skill level. This usually leads to injury, illness, misery and an early end to a long-planned trip.

Oh, and we'll be documenting our whole trip with videos. So keep watching for those.

Hopefully we'll have better weather than last year. Fingers crossed.

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