Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway

We make it into the little village Trout Lake with no problem. A trail angel living here seems to enjoy shuttling hikers from and to the trail head! 

We splurge ourselves with veggie hamburger, salad, blueberry shake in the case of Felix, and blueberry pie in the case of me!

This lovely little village seems to be the capital of blueberry goodies.

But most importantly, we splurge ourselves with a hotel room, shower, and laundry! I have a feeling we do this more often than other tru hikers!

Many day hikers who cross our way don’t really recognize us as tru hikers, just because we are too clean! (We do often swim in lakes with our clothes on of course. Not many other hikers seem to to do that?! They either don’t want to go off trail or don’t want to take a break or don’t want to enjoy these gorgeous lakes or simply don’t want to be clean?

I don’t know!)

Oh man, you should see how dirty some of these tru hikers look. As if they had rolled around in the dirt and have not washed in weeks, or months even.

Perhaps that’s exactly the case!


We only nero in Trout Lake and are already heading back to the trail this morning.

Beautiful out here!

Since we hike with Felix, we get to see many animals! We take a break at a stone pile and go “Pika Watching”.

Look who I have a chat with!

I am so happy to see this little guy! The cutest thing in the world!

Now: I am so bloody hungry for quite some weeks now.

Hiker Hunger kicked in. Late, but it kicked in.

I can eat as many Snicker and Protein bars as I want, I am still hungry.

Hungry all day.

I munch myself through bags of chips (Fritos!), which have a 1000 calories (really!) per bag… I still want more. Even after dinner, when I eat one of these dehydrated meals, which are actually sized for two people, I seem to eat a Snickers for desert!

During the first few months of my hike, in the desert, I seem to have lost quite some weight (great!) but these days seem over… My calory input seems enormous now…

Ohhhh so hungry all day!

But right now I have another problem…

I stand up here on the famous Knifes Edge, and look over to where the path goes and say:

“I am not going there!”

There is no way I can possibly hike this stretch.

Holy shit!

Yesterday we have already climbed up quite a bit and got some height.

Felix did another fantastic job in finding an epic place where we could camp (he has a natural talent for this).

And this is the view from the inside of my tent:

We climbed up higher this morning through some epic Washingtonesque landscape, all the way up to Knifes Edge.

It’s cold and beautiful.



Now look very closely at the picture where the path goes.

If it does not look scary on the image, trust me, it looks epically scary in reality.

“I am not going over there. I can’t do this! No way am I going to hike over this mountain range! It’s way too steep”.

But what are my options? Turning around and backtrack the last four days? And then what?

That’s not really an option.

So Heidi, you have to do this.

Feel the fear and do it anyway!

So I hike over the ridge.

Step by step.

Don’t look down.

Some stretches seem fine. I can even look around and enjoying this epic landscape a little.

But. Oh God. Oh God. This is bad.

We are now on the side of this ridge. It goes down SO VERY STEEP on the left hand side. And the path is loose and sandy and super narrow in places!

Oh God.

Just take little steps and don’t look down.

If I stumble and slip here, I will most probably fall down and break my neck.

I know, it is epically beautiful up here and this Knife Edge thing is a bloody highlight of the entire PCT…


And I should be grateful to be out of the woods, and grateful for the crazy people who had decided to build a trail up here so that other crazy people can come up and see this, but right now I am not grateful.

Do they really make all these tired and insured PCT hikers hike this route!?

I can see that Andy does not really care. He seems totally fine with this, he hikes this path like a bloody damn spring chicken!

It’s just me who seems to be freeking out.

I place one foot carefully after the other.

I breath in and out and practice some self assurance while I balance over those edges.

“Holy moly!”

“I am done with this. I don’t want to go further”!

It freaks me out, I am tired and scared. It is so steep and it goes on forever.

But I have to push myself further.


Done! Done! Done!

I am through the thing and back in normal PCT hiking landscape!

Now THAT was something!!

I am shaken up and tired and want to go to sleep right now.

Yes. It was epically beautiful, but I don’t want to do it ever again!


9 replies
  1. Marlise Lachat says:

    VERTIGO…that is also my BIG word hiking through the mountains…
    If you are nit alone, might be an idea to walk close together…if you concentrate on the soils of your copain before you, you won’t see the precipice….
    Well done, once more!

  2. Michaela says:

    Well done, Heidi! You are so brave, and funny, and such a good photographer… I really enjoy following your blog and will definitely miss it once you’re back in good old Basel (can you really imagine returning to your normal life after this epic adventure?). Viel Glück weiterhin!

    • Heidi says:

      Oh thank you for this wonderfully nice comment Michaela! Yes I think it will not be easy to get back to my “other” normal life, as this is really my current normal life… I will see!


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  1. […] I slip, I will probably just take a super fast shortcut down to this river. (This reminds me of my Knives Edge VERTIGO nightmare). My way too heavy pack does not exactly improve my […]

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