Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mailbox and Si in 1 Day / Walking like Frankenstein today

Mailbox peak last summer
So in preparation for various mountain climbing plans this summer (Mike and Katy are doing Rainier and the usual gang of four are doing Baker) the stupid idea was hatched to do Mailbox peak followed by Mt Si this past saturday.  It sure sounded like a great idea at the bar and truth be told it really was a great day of hiking.

Mailbox peak this past weekend
(the mailbox is under our hands)
So just to recap this brilliant plan.  Mailbox peak climbs 4000 feet in 2.5 miles, easily the steepest trail I have ever hiked.  It is an out and back so the downhill might be worse as you beat your knees into the ground.  Then it is a quick drive to Mt Si which climbs 4000+ feet over 4 miles.  

We got up Saturday at 6:15 and were on the road by 6:45 with coffee in hand.  We all met up and headed to the Mailbox peak trailhead.  The weather was cool and threatening to rain but held off the whole day.  The clouds rolled in and out letting us look back down to the lush green valley off and on.  At one point I just kind of got in the zone and hiked up ahead by myself enjoying the snow, mist, and clouds.  Mike and Katy were testing out boots to hike Mt Rainier in (which weight about 19lbs each) so they were really weighted down.  The gang of four (Natalie, Dan, Laura, and myself)  made it up to the top in a time that surprised us all, checked out the top and headed down before our body temps could drop too much.  We passed Mike and Katy on the way down not too far from the top and were happy to see they were in good spirits despite the torture devices strapped to their feet.

Back at the parking lot we all agreed that the first leg of the trip had gone well.  We ate, and rested until the whole group was back together and then headed off for mountain #2.  

The hike up Si went really well, we just chatted away and before we knew it we were near the top.  The last 100 yards I was pretty much ready to be finished but overall we all felt great the whole hike.  We all ended up running down the first half of the downhill just to save our knees a little.  I ended up running nearly the entire 4 miles back down.  It felt great to tear past the mile markers.  4, 3.5, 3, 2, wow I am almost at the parking lot, 1, well I will keep running now, and bam I was done.  Peeling off boots has never felt so good.  We had a celebratory beer in the parking lot and then headed out for food.  

What a great hike.  I can certainly say we are all ready for our respective climbs.  Next weekend is a long weekend of backpacking.  Heres hoping the weather will cooperate.

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