Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Great weekend at the MTTA high hut

This past weekend a group of us (Laura, Dan, Mike, Natalie, and myself) headed out to a place we have been eying for 3 years.  The MTTA (Mt Tahoma Trails Association) maintains a small network of huts near Mt Rainier.  For $18 a person per night you can rent these spots.  I say spots because there are a few cabins and a yurt.

Muddy parking lot
We were originally scheduled for the yurt, with plans to rent out the whole thing.  Well at the last minute Laura got an email saying that the heat at the Yurt was broken and we had been moved to High Hut.  This cabin sleeps 10 so we expected company.

We arrived at the trail head around 2pm, and started getting our gear together to head up.  It was sprinkling but we were all confident, or trying to be confident, that it would turn to snow up higher.  I did forget to mention we had a 4 mile snowshoe ahead of us.  All of the cabins are ski/snowshoe/hike in.  Even better they are all off the grid and away from cell coverage.  Yep, paradise....

Drying Out
It took us a few hours but we made pretty good time getting to the cabin.  We were thrilled to walk in the door and not only see the cabin was better than we had expected but also that we were the only ones there.

We started flipping on the LED lights around the cabin after turning on the main power to the house (powered by a solar array).  Next we tracked down the thermostat for the gas fireplace since it was 35f inside.  Then we started changing into dry clothes.  It had not stopped raining the whole time but was pretty moderate so we were all just damp.

After the heat kicked on and everyone was in dry clothes we all agreed this was what life should always be like. We spent the evening having a great time chatting about anything and everything.  I felt like I was 10 years old hanging out in a fort I had built with buddies.  Great friends and an amazing spot.

We were only there for the night as this was a scouting trip but after our experience we will be back for sure.

View of the cabin as you walk up, you can see the solar panels

Bit of snow coming over the porch railing

group shot
picture of the back door

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Been in Seattle for 3 years and finally hiked the most popular hike around

Camp robber Jay at the top
Had a great day in the mountains today with Mike.  We headed up to Mt Si which is probably the most popular hike in Seattle.  It is only about an hour out of town and is used as a training hike for Rainier and other large mountains because of its steady grade for 4 miles.  You climb about 1000ft a mile for 4 solid miles.

This hike was not as hard as I was thinking it would be even though we hit snow 2 miles in and had to put on yak tracks and crampons a little after that due to the icy trail.

I have to say I have never seen such a variety of hikers on a single trail.  We saw everything from guys obviously training for big mountains, with their full packs with multiple ice axes hanging off the sides, to people in jeans with duffel bags (what do you use a duffel bag for hiking?) headed to the top.  There were even quite a few people in shorts.  ?  Do you know it is icy and really cold out here?  It was great people watching.

Round trip it is 8 miles and 4000 ft of climbing.  A great day to be out in the mountains.

Thanks Mike!

Jeans are the new technical hiking clothing