Bill Waters had trekked this particular trail before. Frank Reynolds, Bill’s new buddy, had not yet been to the Mount Rainier wilderness. And, this was Bills first pack-trip with Frank, but Bills brother recommended Frank so Bill took a chance. Happily, Frank was quickly proving himself a competent horseman. A fact which put Bills initial concerns quietly to rest.
They had left the horse trailer with Frank’s brother on the NFD 210 fire road which was few miles north of the Trailhead at the Carbon Glacier National Park. Frank’s brother would pick them up in three days at their trails end.
The planned route, into the National Wilderness, led northwest toward Pitcher Peak then turned North-east toward Rooster Comb. Near Rooster Comb they would turn off trail, go due west to a secluded alpine lake simply called The Bowl, where they would camp Friday night, all day Saturday, and Saturday night. On Sunday morning, they would pack up and exit the wilderness going due west and end at the NFD 7722 fire road where Frank’s brother would find them.
In all, it was a nice comfortable three day two night pack trip. But, the first leg was rather long. It could take them almost 10 hours to reach the alpine lake. And, although it had rained earlier in the evening the remaining three day forecast was for clear cool weather. Since the trail’s beginning was well traveled and expertly marked by the National Forest Service, the two trekkers felt comfortable starting their pack-trip very early Friday morning, almost ninety minutes before dawn.