The minute I had passed my written exam I directly continued down south again to meet with Jeremy and Anna again for a hiking weekend in the Cascades. After we had so little time during my last visit we decided to catch up and hike together – and here we are, two weeks later! Also Anna’s friend Sam from Texas joined for the hike – her first overnight hiking trip.

So off we went Friday evening with a quick pit stop for a good dinner. After telling the waiter that the beer she recommended to us was “drinkable” I pulled my “language barrier” card – not the last time for this weekend ?

We drove about an 1.5h north-east of Seattle right into the Cascades and pitched our tents in the dark at the bottom of the trail to be able to get a quick start in the morning.

We even managed to get a nice fire going even though it was quite wet from a few days of rain before.

And then the next morning the adventure was about to start. We got up in the mist.


But luck was on our side and an hour later we were blessed with blue sky and sunshine. Since its was only a two day hike, our backpacks were light we made sure we had the right things on board: Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand!

The trail started out flat and easy following the valley which encouraged us to take the first break before the rather steep ascent.


Back in the wilderness!!! Jieahhaaaa!

Ah, and after being inspired (and really annoyed at the same time) by Sean’s ultralight backpack on the West Coast Trail I decided to go even lighter – getting close to ultralight. Or how Jeremy says: “Ultralight – freeze at night”. My new toy:

I am down to 45 litres and 800gr. for the backpack. Further stripping down equipment probably getting the pack weight down to about 6.5kg now. Mountains and steep ascents – I am coming! Such a pleasure to carry this amazing Hyperlite Mountain Gear backpack. Even the four kg of booze didn’t feel uncomfortable.

We made our way up to the first lake – Tuck. Nice and steep forest hike on a beautiful natural trail. We chatted a lot, enjoyed the great weather and surroundings and views. And again – I couldn’t stop smiling once I had my backpack on my back and I started going uphill again. It just makes me so happy. #ilovemountains

Being back with my (kind of Kiwi) friends we fell back into all the good old Kiwi slang. And again – language barrier! Sam walked in front of me and we were talking about all kinds of things. I – in good old Kiwi style – acknowledged her stories with a once in a while “sweet as”. Sam told us later that she thought it was a little bit weird that I talked about her bum the entire time but anyways charmed her anyways … What a laugh!!! ?
@Sam: And thank you so much for teaching me all these new sounds on the way up. Probably learned about 15 new sounds to express steepness of hills by just saying things like mmmrrrrr, nooooooouuu, ohhaaa, puuuhhh… ?

We arrived at Tuck and took a quick break before we tackled the last ascent for the day.


What a beautiful area. I love the grey solid rocks with the alpine scrub already changing its colour to red now. Beautiful views on Mt. Daniel and even Mt. Rainier was insight again hiding behind a few broken clouds.


And then the last bit up to Robin Lake. Portraits of the crew:


Arrival at Robin Lake:


We found a beautiful camp spot with lake and mountain view and enjoyed the sunset and dinner.

What can I say about this dinner?! I can’t even count the laughs I had – haven’t laughed that much in a long time. I guess the altitude and booze helped as well. Starting out with the fact that Jeremy and I bought light beer – how stupid can you be when you carry stuff like the up the mountain to buy 3.8% light beer… ?

Anyways – I also learned my probably new favourite expression. Jeremy and Anna had met a Korean hiker in NZ who’s English was not really good. But he wanted to let them know that it is important to do what makes you feel good. As my Aconcagua buddy Matt always used to say and what I took into my top five expressions: “You got to do what you think is best for you!” the Kiwi-Korean version of it is: “Do what make good!” Hahahaa. I love it. Do what make good!

@Sam, Anna, Jeremy: please complete all of the missing bits and pieces.
Thanks for this amazing night! Love you guys!

Next morning – of course I had set up my tent accordingly – I woke up with his view.


Of course Pengu and the my orange triangle from the Herakino Forest also joined the new pack.

We climbed one of the close by peaks for a 360 degree view. Started in fog and once we arrived on the top everything cleared and we had this.


The girls got ready for the photo shooting…

…and we looked great anyways ?

Views, views, views.


The way down was easy and nice. What can I say. It was a perfect weekend and for me also the perfect way to celebrate my pilots licence. More than anything else I do enjoy the outdoors. Every time I am out here I can feel it more and more. The Pacific Crest Trail (Canada-Mexico) runs through exactly the same valley on the other side. Maybe something to look into for the next year… ?

But I also enjoyed to catch up and spent time with my fantastic friends. Sam, Anna and Jeremy – thank you for this amazing weekend, the great hike but more than that for the great conversations and tons of laughs.
This weekend – sweet as!