Back to top

The Heart of the North Cascades

Never Miss a Blog! Sign Up Now to Receive Blog Posts by Email

Cascades Sea to Summit Backpacking

Sat, 07/27/2019 - 16:09

Yoga in the pinesBackpacking Day 1: On our first day of backpacking we hiked 4.4 miles and camped at a sweet little campground by the river called Hideaway. Annie was our LOD and showed strong leadership on the first day of hiking by smartly facilitating breaks and making sure everyone was having a great time. For dinner we ate “Fancy Ramen” and we had the Eco Toothpaste Spray Alpenolympic Event which Josie won. We slept well on our first night of backpacking with the sound of the river lulling us to sleep. 

Backpacking Day 2: On our second day we had an early start because we had a lot of uphill walking to do. The girls climbed a total of 35 switchbacks with strength and enthusiasm. We had a filling lunch of hummus pitas and enjoyed a dip in McAllister lake. We loved the wildflowers and singing songs on the way to the pass which was followed by a killer uphill .7 last mile to hidden meadows. The girls encouraged each other and were moved by making it to such a pretty spot. We all drank in the towering rock cliffs with its own wildflower meadow. For dinner we ate Annie’s Mac n Cheese and chocolate pudding. We did our LOD appreciation in the meadow. Ellie was the LOD of the day and her capability and motivation was needed and appreciated. 

Backpacking Day 3: On our third day we had a dawn start and enjoyed mountain peak views while eating breakfast. This was the first sunrise start for some of the girls and the views and dawn light was not taken for granted. There was a lot of downhill, thunderstorms and even some bear poop. We enjoyed “Not So Plain Cheese and Crackers” while looking down Lake Chelan. We also had a Whistle Blowing Alpenolympic Event which Sydney won. We had even more downhill in the hot sun which made our dip in Rainbow Creek needed. But we continued to climb downhill and we made it to the Steheiken Pastry Company by 3 pm for a pastry spread with cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, pie, brownies and coffee cake. The total mileage for the day was calculated and it was 12 miles! We spent a couple of hours at the bakery doing some yoga, and a Rose Bud Thorn activity. We took the shuttle bus form the bakery and walked a short way to High Bridge Campground for spaghetti and garlic bread dinner. The girls were so proud of themselves and slept well.  

Roadside dance party AlpengirlBackpacking Day 4: On day four of backpacking we slept in, and had a slower morning with yoga and Tropical Oatmeal Breakfast. Maya was our LOD of the day and we had a quick and easy 4.5 mile hike and played a trail game with alphabetical animals that lasted a whole three miles! Annie was the winner of the game. Once at camp we did the Best Nest Alpenolympic Event which was a tie because of great pitching technique! To break the tie we had a Moo Off Competition that was won by “The Jones Tent.” It was the most dedicated Moo Off we’ve ever seen. The Wilderness First Aid Skill Bead girls (Maya, Sydney, Elsie, Annie, Debbie, and Maddie) worked on CPR, splinting and basic first aid. We had a Lady Daisy Party, washed our hair and rinsed our stinky clothes. The rest of the afternoon was spent swimming in a sheltered spot in beautiful Bridge Creek, followed by a campfire where we ate Hot Chicken and Rice Bowls and did a Letters to Self activity. 

Backpacking Day 5: Today the girls had a special leadership challenge and became their own leadership team. The LOD for the day was Elsie and she rose to the challenge and helped make group decisions throughout the day. During the hike they got to choose when they took breaks and how long the breaks would be. They also got to decide when snacks were given out and how much was given out. They also got to carry the maps for the day and be in charge of navigation. Though Alpenguides Laura and Clara kept the formation while hiking with a guide in the front and one in the back the girls took the reins! We had a hot 7 mile hike with some challenging uphill in the sun. We got rewarded by a beautiful stream which we played in and were able to cool off in that was three miles from our campsite for the night. We pushed through for the last three miles and made it to camp to enjoy eating our Pumped up PB Wraps. The girls continued their day of leadership by deciding how the rest of the afternoon would be structured. Sophia made a creative and successful shelter for her Shelter Skill Bead and and the Backpacking Skill Bead girls (Sydney, Maddie and )made some great bear bag hangs for the group. We ate lasagna for dinner with backcountry cheesecake. The girls then reflected on their day of leadership with insightful comments about what they did well and what they could have done better. It was a wonderful last evening in the backcountry, and bittersweet for all!

Backpacking Day 6: On our last day of backpacking we woke up early and had a delicious breakfast of cream of wheat with lots of nuts and even dried goji berries. We had a fun and fast paced 6 mile hike and made it to the van in 3 hours! The hike out was fun and all too fast and we made it to the van well before lunch. Our LOD of the day was Sarah and she encouraged us to the van the whole way and helped the rest of the day go smoothly. We got organized ate Walking Nachos at the van and made our way to Cascadia Farm for some delicious ice cream. We arrived at our Anacortes, WA campsite and took showers and relaxed. The day ended with a lovely evening LOD appreciation circle overlooking the beautiful San Juan Islands and the ocean.

Photos: #1 yoga in the pines #2 road side dance party post backpacking

Today - Saturday July 27 the Alpenguides Laura or Clara will placing the Parent Calls to let them know how their campers are doing. They will call morning, afternoon or evening and if they miss you, they will leave you a voicemail message with info. Please remember - Alpenguides call from BLOCKED numbers, so pick up blocked calls today:) 

Today & Tonight - The group is traveling by ferry to the San Juan Islands (Lopez Island) for a surprise overnight at a private farm surrounded by heirloom apple trees and perhaps a soak in a wood fired hot tub this evening! Alpenguides Laura and Clara both grew up on this island, so, the girls are in for a special treat and will get the best treatment and feel for this wonderful place and perhaps even another bakery stop at the wonderful Holly B’s  

Tomorrow - The group starts their 3-day kayaking trip in the San Juan Islands, we may be able to post a few more photos to Facebook or Instagram before their trip is complete on August 1, but, only a few more days left and it’s been a spectacular success with a stellar group!