I Hate That<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">
You know I hate that...
You buy a permit for a tree farm so that you can bag all the peaks accessible within and from it and then the roads are still snowed under in Spring and then you have a medical problem for a month in mid-summer that hinders your ability to get those peaks then right after that a drought occurs and the farm’s management closes the farm for high fire danger and then you have to wait two more months (during the best time and weather of the year) to get access, meanwhile the weather could turn (with a vengeance) at any time and will probably do so right before the coming weekend and you might wind up wasting your $200. I hate that.
You drive an old logging road that has rock debris on it from road bank sloughing. You’re going really slow to avoid every oil pan denter, but there’s always that one unseen rock blending in with the grassy center strip that you don’t see and…bang! I hate that.
You come upon a brushy traverse as soon as you leave the comfort of a logging spur and then you remember/realize it’s late season, meaning the nightly dew has covered the brush with many beads of water that will soak you to the bone, and you purposely didn’t bring your rain pants to save weight even though they’re really lightweight. I hate that.
You see open ground that avoids the brush, but when you get there you discover said open ground is marshy ground and your footsteps sink in up to the socks. That suck suck sucking boot sound…I hate that.
You decide to avoid the brushy open areas by going to the forest, but every time you duck under an evergreen you get pine needles on your head and down your neck. I hate that.
You realize really early in your day that your grand design to climb this peak and the two next door turns out to be just a flimsy papier-mâché version of your grand design. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Idiot. I hate that.
You think you’ll take to a talus apron to bypass a brushy slope but the apron ends…at a brush wall…and now you’re 400 vertical feet lower down the mountain as a result and you’ve got the same amount of brush to deal with, only at a steeper angle now than if you had traversed the brush instead. I hate that.
You try to take a brushy gully up a nasty, vegetated slope, and the first thing you encounter is devils club in the narrowest constriction. I hate that.
You take a brushy gully up and have to green belay yourself up by holding on to the weakest thing implanted in the ground (fern) because everything else has little thorns on it and you’re too lazy to get your gloves out. I hate that.
You are getting hot in your long sleeve sweater so take it off to climb up a nasty, brushy gully, but this exposes your short-sleeved arms to the brush and then the brush turns out to be mostly thorny salmonberry and devils club. I hate that.
You decide to ascend a brushy gully because it looks like easier, open ground just a short way up. But after scratching and clawing (and being scratched and being clawed) up the gully, you discover the “easier ground” is in fact dangerous slabs. I hate that.
You get up past a dangerous area, like brushy slabs, and see an easier way you were contemplating taking in the first place but didn’t because you didn’t want to climb too high too fast because you couldn’t see around the corner of the mountain rib up there where the other side might cliff out. But of course it didn’t. I hate that.
You get up to a point just underneath the summit (but still 1000 ft below it) and the rock climbing there looks stellar but you’re too wimpy too free solo Class 5.10 so you have to continue traversing and traversing until you get to the easy way but that adds eight times the distance. I hate that.
You finally get to the usual gully and think finally I’m on the normal route and can rest easy then you see a mountain goat climbing in the gully above you and now you have to worry about animal-induced rockfall. I hate that.
You’re climbing up the usual gully which you have read from prior trip reports doesn’t require technical climbing with gear (i.e., it isn’t really hard and dangerous) and you encounter some Class 4 difficulties and wind up taking a harder route because you didn’t re-read the trip reports before you left the house and the harder route entails some groveling using grass tufts for veggie belaying (grass wasn’t meant for veggie belaying). I hate that.
You get to the summit, which entails climbing through some Class 4 and exposure, and then see a clear view on a bluebird day. I love that.
You scramble around the summit blocks eagerly looking for the register because recent prior trip reports have indicated there is one, but you can’t find it. I hate that.
You look down from the summit to your car only a half-mile away and 1400 feet below and note that it took you 3 hours to go from there to here and there really wasn’t any rock climbing that would slow you down so what’s up with that? I hate that.
You would like to shortcut the route back to your car by rappelling off that side of the mountain but you don’t a) have enough runners for rappel anchors, and b) would like to have had something longer than a 30m rope (meaning you’d be needing more runners), but you don’t. I hate that.
You get back to the steep part of the usual gully and know you’re not going to downclimb the grassy tuft slabs so take to the woods to skier’s right and it is only then that you find the rappel anchor others have used and the reason you didn’t see it on the way up is because the runner color was the same as the tree it was wrapped around, so that’s why you wound up going up the other side of the gully up the grass tufts. I hate that.
You get back to the “better way back” that avoids the steep, brushy gully and take the tailor-made ledge around the corner but then run into a dilemma: stay high on questionably narrowing ledges thence to a possible bushwhacking and cliffy nightmare or descend down (but lose elevation), which might avoid those aforementioned uncertainties, and you make a decision to do the latter based on the best available information (visuals) but then ironically wind up not only descending some questionable, narrowing ledges and then ending with a downhill with-the-grain bushwhack that features yet more sticker bushes. I hate that.
You traverse back through the brushy forest thinking “I’ll just use those log highways I was using on the way up they ought to be right here” but you don’t find them (or all of them) because, well because where you are is shoulder-high bushwhacking and it doesn’t take much to get slightly off that track but you naturally see those log highways behind you after you pass them. I hate that.
You wind up taking a lot of gear you didn't use, gear like crampons (for possible steep duff), ice axe (for possible steep duff), and runners (for rappelling) and all they do is weigh you down in your pack. I hate that.
You get back to your car and there’s no Swedish bikini babe or babes waiting there to give you a...n ice cold beer. I hate that.
You’re driving back down the logging road following a hunter in a pick-up truck and your cell phone pings to notify you have text messages and you pick it up to glance at the messages while you’re going 25 mph around a bend and when you look up a hotdogging Jeep is coming fast up the road and you see it just in time to veer to the right and then think, “what are the chances?” I hate that.
Your arms are all scratched up and you look like a kitten has clawed at you all day and it hurt when the scratches were put on your arm. But then when you get home those scratches hurt you two more times: once when the hot water hits you in the shower and then again only minutes later when you towel dry your arms. I hate that.
You do a climb like this and you’re solo meaning there’s no one with you to share in your memories (especially the bad ones). I hate that.
You get home and want to write a trip report but have writer’s block because you don’t want to write another run-of-the-typer-mill report and then you’re also a busy working and family man and so you’re delayed then people start asking you for information and you’re forced to write something you may hate. But nonetheless the whole time you’re hiking back to the car or driving home you’re writing lines in your head thinking “that’s good stuff” and that you’ll put that onto paper as soon as you get home but you don’t (because you’re busy, remember) and so by the time you really get around to writing it none of those good lines you can remember (like not being able to remember a dream too long after you wake up). I hate that.
You want to go climbing in the tree farm the following weekend but they close it for fire danger AGAIN so you’re forced to do something else…like write a hateful trip report. I hate that.
--Paul Klenke, October 2012
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