Elena and Gus Wimberger, the Tacoma siblings nearing the end of their Pacific Crest Trail adventure, had battled heat, hunger, injuries and the occasional boredom of hiking more than 2,300 miles since May.
This week, they encountered worse - winter and the danger it presented.
All the rains that hit the Northwest at lower climes were snow in the mountains, and the Wimbergers were caught at high elevation far from help when the storm hit full strength.
Their blog reflects what happened next: Well-grounded fear and round-the-clock hiking as they sought safety. They were blocked by downed bridges, snow that obliterated the trail and cold that left them unable to rest for more than a few minutes before they'd begin to shiver.
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Elena, 22, and Gus, 18, are safe and sound today, resting up with family before tackling their last days on the Mexcico-to-Canada hike. Following them since May has been fascinating.
This week, it was harrowing. And a happy 23rd to Elena.