Time to drop that letter off again
If there ever was a mountain that made a good conditioner for higher mountains that was close to the Seattle area, Mailbox Peak is it. It goes up 4000 feet in 2.5 mile and is really good wake up for those who desire a trip to Rainier or Hood.
Mailbox Part One
On my first trip in late April 2007 to Mailbox I just fell short due to the fact that I was at the time much slower than the group I went with. That trip really woke me up to West Coast hiking and climbing and made me realize that I had better get in shape. I did get high enough to see that beautiful sunset. I had just wished that I had made it to the summit. After that hike I knew I had to hike as much as possible so that I could set myself up one day to tackle volcanoes.
Mailbox Part Two
The agony of going up and just falling short ate me alive for four months and humiliated me. So I went up again in August of 2007. On that trip I made the summit in a not so fast 2 hour and 45 minutes. It was cloudy on top but it like there was a chance that the clouds would break for possible views. I wait up on top for an entire hour, only to get deluged on by a freak shower which lasted the entire way down the mountain. Yes I got the summit and I was glad for that but I didn’t get the views.
Mailbox Part Three
Well speed up to 2009. As most of you are aware 2008 was by far my most successful season. I knocked down over 40 new mountains and went on over 50 hikes all together. Every weekend a new mountain would fall, and my interest for Mailbox was not too high. In September I knocked off Mount Adams and my desire for greater has now become a total obsession. So here comes 2009 and I have big plans to knock off Rainier, Baker, Hood, and Shasta.
It is time to visit my old buddy again. This time I decided to load my pack up to 35 pounds and I decided to go to the mountains when the forecast was calling for rain. Chances are I won’t be able to have my cake and eat it too. Well we headed to the trail in the fog when quickly the fog burned off and it became sunny. My group started Mailbox and with this weight on my back I was worried how I was going to make it this time.
The first clue that this trip was going to be the best of the Mailbox trip was the weather. The second change here was that Mailbox was actually more established. Yes the trip up was the same sustained steepness but due to a lot of work on the route the trip up Mailbox was much easier to follow. The second was the unusually high snowline. As of Sunday February 8th the snowline on Mailbox is up to 4000 feet which made for easier work on the peak. Still that being said Mailbox is the ultimate in conditioning. It may not be technically very difficult but it is a good wake up call for higher peak.
We as a group made to the summit in about the same time I made it August. Without the weight I could have made the summit much quicker but right now weight and conditioning is the most important thing if I want to pursue higher adventures. We sat on the summit enjoyed the sun and views on the summit and headed back down. The first thing I noticed is the footing going down is much improved and the stress on the knees is much lower. Also the route is much more obvious. I have seen people get lost on this mountain. Well this is now not the case. Still being said Mailbox definitely gave me the workout I needed but also the confidence that I will tackle greater things in 2009.