Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mailbox Peak (2.5 miles up 4000 vertical feet of climbing)

All the pics here (click me)

Last week Dan and Laura and I met up out at the trailhead for Mailbox peak.  We got started about 6:30 and quickly realized it was way too late to start this monster.  We got about half way up before throwing in the towel.

We all agreed we had to come back and start a little earlier so yesterday a group of us met back up at the trailhead to give it another shot.  In attendance were Ross, Stephanie (after her second ACL surgery), Dan, Laura, Tom (Dan's brother), Natalie, and myself.

We headed up the trail at 5:30 and were quickly climbing.  This trail really does not waste much time before going straight up the mountain.  And I mean straight.  The demeaning part of the trail is that it seems to get steeper as you go up so as you climb it is getting progressively harder.

The whole climb is under a heavy canopy and is beautiful.  If it were not for the buzz of I-90 in the background you would never know you were 45 minutes from Seattle.

We ground up and up and up, finially starting to see light at the top.  This light was not the top but a giant boulder field that we climbed up and up and up.  At the top of the boulder field the meadow area started and was covered in wildflowers.  My progress quickly ground to a halt as I took out the camera and kept taking pictures of all the flowers.  The fog was pretty heavy which just made the lighting better for photos and I could not pass it up.

After about 3 hours we all were on top standing by the famed mailbox on top of mailbox peak.  Several of us signed the summit register, we ate some snacks and then headed back down.

The trip back down was about as hard as up because if how steep it was and I was very happy to have my trekking poles along.  About 1/2 way down the sun started to set.  We were in several groups at that point and Ross and I stopped to wait for Natalie so I could give her a headlight.  We gave Natalie and light and headed down the mountain.  For some reason Ross and I thought it would be a fun challenge to see if we could make it to the bottom without turning on our lights.  We made it within 100 yards of the trailhead before we turned on the lights and walked out to the gravel road.

Everyone was psyched to have made it to the top and we celebrated in the parking lot by destroying a bag of pretzels.  Then we all loaded up for the drive back into Seattle.  Thanks guy for such a fun hike.

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