Well it had been about a month since the last time that my wife had been hiking and she was itching to go. In fact it had been two months since her last snowshoe up Welldiggers Ass and she was real beginning to miss the feel of winter. She had been workout a little during the break but as we all know nothing is as good as being on that trail.
The only issue was that her foot issues had decided to come back again. She earned these pains in her feet from her retail job last spring and the pain in her feet was dormant throughout much of the winter but now they were back and they were starting to give her a real hard time. But with a little proper medicine and rest she was hoping that those two items would be enough to get her through the trip so she could enjoy her #49 different United States summits. That was at least her thinking anyway.
Struggling Up Kendall Knob
BearQueen heading up the mountain
Unfortunately about a mile into the trip my wife's feet started to feel the pain. Her pace was really starting to slow down as we were beginning to ascend the mountain. By the two mile mark she was in a world of hurt I began to get concerned for her and even at one point asked for her to turn around for her own health. But BearQueen was determined on this trip and she really wanted to make the summit. Though she was struggling she eventually found the pace to continue her trip up to the summit of Kendall Knob.
Joel on a shortcut
Views started to break out at about the 3500 foot level. At times it was quiet foggy as we continued to climb the mountain. But then the clouds would lift just enough for us to really be able to see the beauty of the area. Though it was a tough slog for BearQueen we made the open saddle in about 3 hours and only had a tenth of a mile left. By this time BearQueen was getting very tired but she was determined to get the summit. From time to time the fog would move in only for it to break and show a break or two of sunshine.
BearQueen almost there
May the Fog Lift!
On the summit
Soon BearQueen, Joel and I were on the summit where we greeted by a number of other people. For BearQueen it was a great victory but her feet were giving her massive fits. She was clearly very weak and hurting. Unfortunately at first on the summit it was really foggy and cold. All of us got something to drink and eat and discussed a possible shorter way back. It was clear that BearQueen was in a world of hurt and we were all concerned. I spent about a good 5-10 minutes messaging her feet trying to get the blood into for the hike back.
Best view of the day
But as luck would have it, the clouds lifted enough for us to have a decent view of Snoqualmie Pass. Though we could not see any distant peaks, we could clearly see Granite Mountain, Snoqualmie Ski Area, Hyak Ski Area and many of the other peaks in the region. Just this view lifted our spirits up and gave BearQueen a new set of life.
Slipping and Falling Down the Mountain
We saw a set of track on the southeast side we all decided to head down the track in order to save time. This though turned out to be a bad idea because the steeper section of terrain really was crippling BearQueen feet and her ability to keep balance was starting to effect on all fazes. She struggle down the southwest ridge, often slipping in falling due to the pains in her feet. When we finally made it back to the original trail she was relieved but still slowly struggled down the mountain. The pain in feet was taking control. Both Joel and I stayed close to her but soon she found a second burst of energy. At one point BearQueen was going so fast that we had a hard time keeping up with her. But soon enough the fatigue from the foot pain was coming back.
Igloo on the way down!
The last mile for BearQueen was clearly the worst for her. Though it was determination that brought he up to Kendall Peak it was also that same determination that was the only thing that kept her on her feet as she headed for the car. Despite the pain her feet she continued to press on though the last little bit was almost to a waddle pace. Finally for her and all of us the car was a welcome sight. For here this was peak number #49. It will probably be a couple weeks until #50 because she will have to heal from this trip and get the feet looked at.
Conclusion: Break Time BearQueen for a While
Though I am proud she made it up there and back both of us don't want her back on the trail until her foot is healed. I also want to thank Joel for coming on the trip and staying with my wife throughout the trip. It was a struggle for all of us and for BearQueen a bit of a learning lesson in the since of not hiking long distances with foot issues. But we persevered and were able to enjoy a delicious after-hike meal.
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