Last week we climbed Mt. David on one of our off days, which was probably the hardest hike ive ever done. It was 7 miles to the top (elevation 7.400 feet if I remember correctly) and was steep as hell. We got to the ridge before the summit but could continue no further due to the amount of snow still on the mountain top. It was at least waist deep and melting so it was impossible to walk through.
On top of Mt. David
The peak we couldnt climb to b/c of the snow:
A few days after the Mt. David trip I noticed that the freaking sole of one of my boots was falling off, which shouldn’t happen on a very new pair of expensive boots…. This was solved by returning them to REI and picking up a new pair (for a little more money but it was worth it!). I took a day trip into Seattle on Tuesday with Natalie (one of the girls on my crew who also needed to return a pair of boots to REI) and besides the boot returning trip, we went and got some really good sushi. The new boots are great and have given me no trouble (or blisters) and I am very happy I went with these over the other pair I had. Oh, we also stopped an Ethiopian restaurant (I wasn’t hungry but tried some of Natalie’s food). This was quite different than anything I’ve seen, and pretty tasty!
Friday we left for our first backpacking trip! We hiked a total of around 20 miles over 3 days (14 of those miles were with full packs). Backpacking is very different than the usual hikes im used to. I weighed my pack before I left, and with food and water it was around 45lbs, which isn’t fun to carry all damn day. You move a lot slower with that much weight on your back, but you get used to it quickly (after you figure out how to distribute the weight correctly so most of it is carried on your hips). We camped for 2 nights by the creeek (ok, what they call a creek out here, we would call a raging river back in Illinois) and had frequent visits by deer that weren’t afraid of us at all, which wasn’t a good thing. I am a VERY light sleeper, so the first night I really didn’t get any sleep because the deer wouldn’t stop wandering around my tent and pissing me off! Yelling at them really doesn’t do any good, they don’t seem to mind the noise, but they aren’t too keen on a few rocks headed in their general direction… So, it was a good first trip, I am starting to figure out ways to lighten my pack weight a bit and am realizing what things I need and what things are just nice to have. I carried the tent for the guys, but was the only one who used it. The other guys preferred to sleep outside under the stars (more room in the tent for me!). The girls had their own tent as well. I’m sorry, but there are way too many goddamn bugs out here to sleep out there without a tent. The mosquitos out here are unlike anything ive seen before, I think the first hike I took out here I ended up with around 38 bites, and I don’t react well to mosquito bites. I get nice big welts instead of the tiny little bumps a normal person would get from a bite. Bug spray helps, but there are just so many of them that it doesn’t really matter what you do (outside wearing full rain gear or a coat all the time, because those seem to be the only fabrics they can’t bite through). I think those little bastards come with armor piercing needles out here.
Full pack and a shovel, not light:
Ill try to do updates more, it just depends when I can get online. I can do simple things from the ranger station, but with all their security on their pcs, I can’t hook up my camera to upload pictures. Nobody wants to read a blog about backpacking without some great pictures to go along with all the boring text!