Hiking the Wonderland Trail:
Doug Edmundson and Aaron Fuegi

About Us

We met in junior high school in the area of College Park, MD, a suburb of Washington D.C. and home to the University of Maryland at College Park, where both of our father's were professors. We became friends and kept in touch through college (Doug at Maryland, Aaron at Penn) and beyond and ended up in grad school together for about a year at Colorado State University. Doug left CSU early but stayed in the area and we hiked together a fair amount during this time until Aaron left Colorado and moved to Boston, MA.

Doug is a fairly avid hiker and backpacker who is also now enjoying x-country skiing and rock climbing. Past experience includes plenty of peaks in Colorado: twelvers, thirteeners and the occasional fourteener. Before the Wonderland Trail, "training" only took place on weekends... jogging and/or the gym would have helped. Doug stands about 5'10" and 155lbs. Biggest worries before the WT: consuming enough calories and not hurting a knee, ankle or foot. Doug currently does hikes with the CMC (Colorado Mountain Club).

I, Aaron, did a lot of hiking when I was young at the Farm and Wilderness Camps in the Green Mountains of Vermont and other places on the East Coast including Maine and the Adirondacks. Except for the two years of grad school in Colorado, though, I haven't done nearly as much in recent years. My biggest interests are games, computers/WWW, backpacking and reading. I didn't really do anything special to 'train' for the WT - just figured I would go and hike and hope for the best :) (Doug thought this kind of crazy). My biggest worry about the trail was that my right knee had been giving me problems; I was also worried about the rain and the bugs, either of which had the potential to make us miserable if they were too bad.

Why choose Rainier and the Wonderland Trail

The WT is perfect for a two week vacation at 93 miles and 21000 feet elevation gain (over ten to twelve days). It also allows for side trips in the Seattle area, Olympic National Park, the North Cascades, etc. Being a loop hike, transportation/logistics is also a tad simpler for those arriving without local support.

Why didn't you climb Rainier itself while you were there?

Rainier is a completely different animal from the Wonderland Trail. Physically, it is much more concentrated with 9000 feet of vertical gain in two days (with all 9000 feet descent on day two most likely), extreme cold, extreme wind and much thinner air. It also requires much greater technical skill and has serious risks (from ice axes/crampons to killer crevasses and weather). Fitting Rainier on the end of the WT might be tough to schedule.

Notes on these pages

Aaron put together these web pages with commentary and suggestions from Doug.

Doug carried the camera and took the vast majority of the photographs. He also kept a journal during the hike and the main text for each page is taken directly from that journal.

Other elements of these pages were added after the hike was well over.


Wonderland Trail Hikers Net Ring

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