Snowbound spring fun.
Stepping out of the car at...oh...about 8am in the (apparently under-construction) Paradise parking lot, it felt about 80 degrees(F). Which is somewhat bothersome with long underwear on...
Last year, the same hike at the same time, we completely forgot all forms of sunblock, and ended up with second degree burned faces (which is horrific, I might add). This time we came prepared, everyone brought at least two bottles of sunscreen, as well as SPF lip balm, got all slimed up, and got started.
Suspiciously enough, the weather ended up being EXACTLY the same as last year, which meant that it was a whiteout at times, and at other times we got little peeks at the mountain as we did our long trudge through the snow.
during one of those peeks I snagged this gem:
My friend doing the classic Greek Javelin thrower bodybuilding pose
From the onset, one might think "oh, this isnt too bad, nice little walk on snow", until you reach the first hill...at which time your heart sinks and you realize what you've gotten yourself into:
Shortly after that lovely, painful reminder of why we climb, we stopped for a water and leg resting break, where I found some friendly little chipmunks posing for the camera.
Anywho, it ended up being whiteout-ish for a good few hours after that, so the camera stayed put away, until of course, we got to that final stretch up to Camp Muir, where it seems to be a wind tunnel that blows away any clouds, and ALL heat.
This girl is a coworker of mine, and I had no idea she was in Olympian shape, I recall her exact words being: "Well, I wasn't tired, so I didn't stop" while I was gasping for breath and worrying about my legs failing me.....
Stopped for snacks:
The most important mountain picture, THE FLEX.
This is just below 10,000 feet (3000 meters), and the speck on the slope is my friend leaving me in the dust, heaving for air while taking baby steps up the final stretch.
Once I got fully into the wind tunnel near Camp Muir, which happened to also be above the clouds that day, I turned around to see where the rest of my group was, and was shocked by a sight I missed last time, so I ripped into my pack to dig out the telephoto before the clouds rolled back across my view......of the lovely Mt Adams.
Back to the climb....turned back around after snapping a few shots (good excuse for a breather right?), and the speck of my friend was EVEN smaller.....invincible monster, she is...
Use the girl for scale, note how huge that rock must be.
Got to Camp Muir, went into the "first come, first served" hut to eat my sandwich. I only got to relax for about 5 minutes before the boss (the guy who owns the car that got us here), said it was time to go. So I stepped outside, got my hero shot, and got ready for the BEST PART OF THE TRIP....
Two more awesome "above the clouds" shots:
One of my new favorite pictures....
Unfortunately, its hard to photograph the best part of this trip, which is glissading back down. Anyone who has done it will understand...if you haven't, you HAVE to try it, its the most fun an adult can have for free, and Rainier has some great and long runs.....AWESOME.
Well, that was pretty much it, once we ran out of hills to slide down, it got pretty somber since everyone was exhausted, we slogged back to the car, and on the way out, saw this guy hanging around:
Thanks for reading, I highly recommend this as a spring training hike, and definitely do it if you like sledding (I know I know, some people actually bring skis and snowboards....whatever floats your boat ;)