On the Knifes Edge

From what I could decipher from Halfmile, Guthooks and Yogi’s notes, which all list different things; there was either camping and water in 25 or 30 miles from where I camped last night. I figured 25 wouldn’t be far enough but then 30 sounded too much. The problem was there’s this ‘thing’ called the Knifes Edge in between, and definitely no camping on that!

I started hiking just after 6:30am and got off to a good start until around the 10 mile mark when I suddenly got super hungry and tired and needed a little sit down in the middle of the trail. There hadn’t been a good spot to take a break in a while, so when I got to my feet I checked the elevation chart and decided to have lunch before the first big climb of the day.

On the way I ran into Bad Seed who I’d night hiked ahead of into Timberline. She’d just stopped for a break so we continued on together chatting mostly about the oddities of the trail and the people we’d met along the way. When we got to the only flat spot before the climb it was already occupied by two chatty day hikers. I wasn’t in an overly social mood so I decided to push on to the next flat spot. Over an hour later at 2pm, having done 20 miles on a few mouthfuls of oatmeal and all the snack bars in my pocket, we found a flat spot next to water for lunch. I was already pretty beat but figured I only had another 10 miles to put in before dark.

We passed many day and section hikers who asked where we were headed to this evening. When we said we planned to hike over Old Snowy and the Knifes Edge they looked at us as if we were crazy. They all said ‘it’s getting a bit late isn’t it?’ We didn’t really understand their concern as at that point we only had 6 more miles to do which we assumed wouldn’t take more than 3 hours even with the big climb at the end.

What we didn’t factor in was the time we took to stop and chat with other hikers, the longer breaks we had chatting and our slower hiking pace whilst in fits of giggles. As we headed up Old Snowy the views became more and more stunning, and I stopped multiple times to take pictures and videos along the way.

Reaching the top:

Still on the Edge:

We made it to camp around 10pm after fumbling our way along the dark ridge and down the other side into the valley. At one point I rolled my ankle and fell on my knees while Bad Seed held her breath. I wasn’t scared until her constant persistence of how high up we were and how steep the drop was finally got the better of me. My headlamp cuts out most of my peripheral vision, which in this instance wasn’t such a bad thing!

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13 thoughts on “On the Knifes Edge

  1. Rozanne, in my book, you really rock, I want you to know. I am inspired by your potent persistence. Wow, thank you for these amazing pics, too, and I see how you linger even though you know the sun is goin’ down, and you’ve still got miles to go to get to bed. Amazing, beautiful country…. I’ve never seen that part of North America!
    Anyway, I am so honored to know you, and enjoying following you along the way, rooting for you, hoping your nerve thing is manageable, it seems to be. You are Gonna Make It. I’m sure! Just ripping up the miles it seems, and the days passing so quickly, you’re ate gonna get to the end, and go….. Whoa, wait a sec!, I’m not ready to be done….. but…… It’ll be in the can, and really something to hold inside and allow to nourish you. (And it will for years)… even if it ended tomorrow….. to me, its an amazing feat! A heroic effort!

    • Thanks so much Daniel. Yes the nerve issue is much better. The padding between my tummy and the hip belt helps a lot. Appreciate your kind words!

  2. Incredible! You look so happy and alive! Been following you since July and I’m so impressed with your resilience to each challenge along the way.

    You are going to get there with time to spare — just keep smiling and believing!

  3. Hi darling, those videos and photos are just amazing. Breath taking nature around you. Would have loved to have been there with you.So pleased that you could share that with Bad Seed. I can’t believe your determination, you just hike on whilst you hardly can see where you are going. So proud, success for the next miles, you are doing great. Love Mutti xxoo

  4. As a new follower, I am blown away by your adventure (I am almost caught up)- I would like to echo what has been said already, stunned by the beauty of the scenery, and your joyful persistent determination to succeed! I introduced your blog to my 12-year-old daughter –yep you are deemed roll model worthy (a rare and very high honor) –the rest of family us are cheering for you as well -cheers

  5. Wow, what views and breath-taking scenery! I think we had the same sunset on Saturday, very colorful. But the Knife’s Edge in the Dark! You CRAZY! 😀 Wild, I hope it was as enjoyable and remember-able as it looked.

    Keep Hiking Wild One!

  6. As I crossed the Knifes Edge a few days ago, I thought how I couldn’t imagine doing it in the dark, in crazy wind, during a storm, with snow/ice . . . but look at you conquering in the dusk. I was sad to miss fab early morning or late day photos. I think I’ll need to return during peak wildflower season and figure out how to be at the right place at the right time. I was also very glad not to be on a time constraint as I spent hours enjoying the top, but I couldn’t believe how much longer the stretch from Old Snowy across the edge was. It seemed to take forever and to continue up and up and up . . .

  7. Gosh! Love reading about your adventures! (You should be a writer—I’d buy your book of Muk Muk adventures!) And I’ve lived in WA for 15+years, and I’ve never climbed Old Snowy—I only recently hiked to Snowgrass Flats (which is just below Old Snowy), but now you’re inspiring me to discover it and Knife’s Edge!!! And wow, you & Bad Seed are bookin’! My friend & I camped near Shoe Lake the night you finished Knife’s Edge & we BOTH reached the trailhead at the same time! So Fast!!!! Wish there was more time in your adventure (or I found out about this blog sooner), would have loved sending you a package to Stehekin!!!

  8. Great to see that you had clear vistas for Goat Rocks, Old Snowy, and the Packwood Glacier area — this is the where I did trail work in August: http://packwoodglacier.wordpress.com
    Crossing a big snow field every day to and from the work site was definitely the most fun “commute” I’ve ever had.

    Knife’s Edge in the dark??? Yikes!

  9. Hi lovely lady,
    What a great story once again. It had a certain “edge” to it;-) and such great pictures!!! It reminded me of walking the Kepler track in New Zealand. We walked in snow, with gusts of wind of 100 Miles per hour. Now that you’ve taken this hurdle, good luck on your last leap to Canada. It must be so bizarre to get back into the “real” world. Lot’s of love, Peter, Minouk and Amber

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