FKT: Kristoffer Jonson, Andrew Fabian - Hatchery Creek - Icicle Creek - Chiwaukum (WA) - 2020-10-04

Route variation
Standard point-to-point
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 54m 49s
GPS track(s)

Their footsteps had already faded, but we knew we were following giants.

A brisk wind greeted us at the trailhead -- not a deterrence but a chamber to echo our joyous cries. The low clouds of Seattle were a distant memory and the blue sky filled embrace of Big Jim awaited us.

There was no climb that would stop us from walking atop the fire filled landscapes of Big Jim and the Chiwakum. Except these flames weren’t ignited accumulations of dead vegetation. No, it was the Autumn colors that were smoldering, the golden larches that were flickering, the alpine meadows roaring red, yellow, orange. Despite the numerous streams we passed none could extinguish the cinders of fall that now controlled the landscape.

With each Pass, the scenery changed but our smiles only grew. The route’s generosity of color equaled only by its generosity of elevation. But like many things in life, this gift was to be returned.

Soon the views that surrounded us engulfed views below us. The descent only allowed for sparse views of our feet, the uneven ground and pouncing rocks, the reminders that our heels, toes, arches were still there. But the scratches and strained ankles were welcome, tattoos of what we saw, imprints of what we would forget.

The dirt road, pavement and forest road climb back up to the CX-5 were a harsh reality. The summer has winded down, autumn is too short and Hwy 2 always has terrible terrible traffic.