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[pct-l] N Cascades PCT report

Howdy folks. Just got back from a stretch of the PCT. We hiked it from
Milk Creek to Suiattle River. 

The brushy section from Milk Creek to Milk Ridge is snow free, and the
brush ain't bad. We hit snow just before topping out but were able to
negotiate it in sneakers. 

From Milk Ridge to Vista Ridge is 99.9% snow. Ice axe *strongly*
recommended. However, even in thick fog we were able to navigate and even
found two or three teeny bare sections of the trail, or blazes, or other
evidence of a trail down under the ice. But I've done this section twice
before so kinda knew the way. We also had the USGS 7.5' map at the ready.

From Vista Ridge down towards Vista Creek it's snow that is sneaker-ready
at 4900', then several nasty blowdowns but nice tread all the way to Vista
Creek. Vista Creek to Suiattle (lowlands) is easy travel and just a couple
blowdowns. At Vista Creek we had quite a gang camped there last year:
Goforth, Mike and Ellen, and three of us section hikers.

On the way out the Suiattle River trail we met a guy, who met a N-S
thruhiker. He said the guy was in sneakers, and was heading to Holden to
get some boots! Still tons of snow above 5000' (depending on the aspect). 
We got heavily snowed on at 6000' today up on Gamma Ridge; it was like a
typical July 4 weekend winter snowstorm: beautiful, wet fluffy snow in
whiteout conditions. It's been a couple months since I've had a nice
winter outing so it was a lot of fun! The rainy hike out was downright
miserable though.  But let's remember the good times... 

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