A quick update from student Andrew S.: We just got back from the North Cascades backpack, which was the first fully student-led portion of the trip. Each group had 2 people that focused on gear, 2 on logistics, and 2 on food. Our group started going over Easy Pass. The ranger told us we would need ice axes, but there was pretty much no snow So we got to carry ice axes for 4 days but didn’t end up needing them. We got over Easy Pass and down on the first day. There was some pretty cool view of mountains and glaciers with lots of wildflowers on the way down. We camped right at the foot of Easy Pass. The next day, woke up and hiked along the river for the rest of the backpack. We hiked through open meadows with big mountains on either side of us, which was really cool! The coolest part was coming down from Easy Pass. The valley created a bowl that was filled with wildflowers!
A quick update from student Harper: The first couple days of our backpack were pretty simple. The second day we walked into a valley and saw awesome views of mountains on all sides. A turquoise river went through the valley and it looked so beautiful. For the last day, we woke up and got an alpine start to see all the stars! We woke up at 3 am. and hiked up to the pass. It was beautiful and we got a full view of everything we hiked through a few days ago.When we got back to Seqium, Lavender Festival was going on. We went to the thrift store and all bought purple clothes and had a lavender prom.
A quick update from student Audrey: We started our backpack off by going uphill to Cascades Pass. On the way to the top it was so cloudy that it seemed we were inside of a cloud! We got to the top and saw snow-covered mountains. We got to our first campsite for the night and we had some time to hang out. The next day was nice and the hiking was mostly flat through the woods. At our next campsite we had a campfire and took a quick shower in the freezing cold glacial water! The water was so cold, but we warmed up by the campfire. That night, we had a feast with rest of our food because it was the last night. The last morning we woke up at 3:45 AM and hiked to the trail head. It was really fun to have a student-led backpack. We got to plan all of our meals and decide what we wanted to eat. We even got to hike on our own for a little bit away from the instructor. This experience made me feel a lot more confident in the woods. It felt like we were on our own trip that we were planning.