Mile23's blog

Hiking to Cutthroat Pass

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Yesterday, M and I hiked up Porcupine Creek from Rainy Pass to Cutthroat Pass, in the North Cascades area of Okanagan National Forest.

[img_assist|fid=38|thumb=1|alt=Looking West From Cutthroat Pass|caption=Looking west from Cutthroat Pass down Porcupine Creek valley. North Cascades area, Okanagan National Forest.]

The trail we covered is a 5-mile segment of the Pacific Crest Trail, and the area really should be part of a wilderness preserve or national park.

The hike is mostly a moderate but insistent climb up through the valley, with a number of wide switchbacks at the eastern end. Each switchback seems to get steeper as you climb up to the pass, which connects the Porcupine Creek watershed to the Cutthroat Creek one.

How The Mile 23 Got Its Name

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Don't expect this to make any sense.

A mile is one minute of arc in latitude. That's the nautical mile, anyway. The other mile is about 200 meters shorter or so. But I prefer the definition of one minute of arc... It seems somehow less arbitrary. Only as arbitrary as the size of the earth and its speed of rotation, and the decision that there should be 360 degrees in a circle.

A knot, by the way, is one nautical mile an hour, which is a highly recursive definition.

But anyway. A mile is a large unit of measure. It's a semi-big distance. A motivated person could walk 23 miles in a day, couldn't they? So the distance isn't insurmountable.