My dad and I started at 8am from Chinook Pass, heading for Sheep Lake on the PCT. Trail was visible a few points during the initial traverse, but didn't see much of the ground until we got to the top, at Sourdough Gap.
From Sourdough Gap, traversed north to the first gap overlooking Upper Crystal Lake. We had beautiful views of Ranier and the cliffs on the Northwest face of Point 6708.
Continued traversing on the east side of the ridge to another small gap, just southwest of Point 6796. At this point we crossed over to the west side of the ridge and continued due north, traversing to a saddle where we could look down on Cystal Mountain Ski Resort. Incredible views of Upper Crystal Lake, Crystal Peak, Little Tahoma, and Mt. Rainier itself during this traverse.
Enjoyed a refreshing glissade down to the shores of Upper Crystal Lake where we met our first hikers of the day. Soaked in the view for a bit and then headed down.
Found the crowds milling around down at Lower Crystal Lake... Trail was pretty easy to follow...the multitude of feet through there will likely wear the trail bare in the next week, if the heat doesn't get to it first. We finally left the snow behind after Lower Crystal Lake, somewhere between 5200 and 5400 feet.
Got to the bottom at 2:15 and after a little hitchhiking back to Chinook Pass, we were on our way back into civilization at 2:45pm.
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