Oh man, I'm sooo far behind in reporting my hiking adventures. I have been so busy lately, but now summer is on in force and I have a chance to catch my breath. So in this posting I’m going to give a brief rundown of all my hiking for the past couple of months, and then post a few pic at the end.
My last report was about my first expedition to Mt. Rainier. I have since made 3 others, and I plan to make, hopefully, 3 more over the next couple of months (I’ve got to get my money’s worth for my pass; next year I’m buying a Rainier only pass, not a full NP pass).
As most of you know, I’ve been dealing with some extreme hearing issues. Because of that reason, and others, I’ve had to stay behind and not join the Mt. Rainier team this year. They climbed the mountain this last weekend and I’ve not yet heard how it went. I hope to join them next year, or the next time they climb, and I make my summit bid when the time is right. I have peace about all this, believing it was a word from God to not go.
When last I wrote I had reached a new high altitude record of 7500 ft. My second Rainier expedition allowed me to get to about 8500ft before I started feeling “off”. 8000 ft is where altitude sickness can first kick in, but I think I was more just out of shape and carrying too much weight. The third expedition saw foul weather, but since I was there for a school assignment, that wasn’t such a big deal. I got a perfect score on that assignment by the way. My forth trip, just a few weeks ago, I smashed all my previous records, reaching Camp Muir at 10,188ft!!! It took me five grueling hours and I nearly ran out of water (I descended with only ½ a liter)! On my next trip I plan to carry enough gear to spend the night at Camp Muir.
I’ve had several other adventures too. I hiked up Mt. Bandera with Dad, which was an absolute blast, just because of who was with me. I also climbed Mt. Defiance, which is next door to Mt. Bandera. I found Defiance to be much harder, but much more fun, because of all the deep snow and even some light rock climbing too. I also went up Mt. Baker, a 10,000 footer, but got sick at the high camp at 7200ft and did not summit. And finally just a few weeks ago I returned to West Tiger Mountain, the first real mountain I ever climbed. I ascended that one while I was a student in MCs. When I first took it on in 2005, I was challenged beyond comprehension. When I returned for the second climb, found it WAY WAY to easy! That shows how far I come.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my hike with Jacob Wyatt back in Michigan, where we covered 16 miles of the Manistee River Trail in two days. The return 8 miles took ½ the time as the first 8 thanks to Jacob’s extreme pace, courtesy of his athleticism. I think he would find the mountaineering technique called the “Rest Step” to be really annoying. But despite the brutal pace I found the whole trip to be very enjoyable and relaxing, and the company was superb.
Well there you have it folks. That's a mad dash through all my hiking adventures. So here now is a few photos. The first 3 are from Mt. Baker, the last 3 are from my most recent hike up Rainier. Enjoy.