Coincidentally, the late afternoon start time was the same as our first trip six years ago when pups and I climbed Gardner Mountains.
Last backpacking trip to wrap up the climbing season, which had been a great one.
Cashmere marked the end of my five-year-long pursuit of the 100 highest peak of Washington.
Over the last few years it had become somewhat of a tradition to do a bigger trip over Fourth of July weekend.
Pup and I slept by the trailhead to catch the early water taxi next morning to Big Beaver Campground. Hiking to the campground would have added an additional 14 miles to the trip.
By climbing these two peaks earlier in the season, we had the advantage of better snow coverage over the cruxes.
Park Creek Trail had been closed off to all traffic this season due to damage resulted from wildfires.
The 16-mile approach into Thunder Basin felt extra long when views were scarce.
This imposing feature off North Cascades Highway (SR 20) southeast end of Ross Lake can be seen from virtually any high points in North Cascades.
I had completely underestimated the scale of Pasayten Wilderness on our first visit to the area three years ago.