Monday, September 12, 2011

Mount Adams - Round 2

This weekend, a group of us traveled up to Washington to climb Mount Adams.  Last August I climbed Mount Adams for the first time and it was awesome - one of the best weekends I've had here in the Northwest.  I don't know if "awesome" is the word I would use to describe the climb this weekend...

The group was definitely awesome: me, Drew, his buddy Trung from Colorado, his coworker Kate, our friend Kiersten and my coworker West.  However, if I were to describe the climb in one word it would probably be: miserable.  I'm not really sure why this trip was a million times worse than the last time I climbed Adams... I think I'm going to attribute it to being exhausted after a long week and really busy Friday.  When we arrived at the trailhead just after midnight on Friday night/early Saturday morning, my absolute lack of sleep and delirium was obvious.  I seriously thought about skipping the climb and just sleeping in my car.  But I didn't drive all the way up there to back out and just sleep, so I gave my cheeks a few slaps to wake myself up, turned on my headlamp and trudged on with the rest of the crew.

There were several times along the way when I almost gave in and turned around, but my stuborness got the best of me and I kept going.  My boots were killing me (I've decided that my next big purchase will be mountaineering boots) so every step was literally painful.  Not to be dramatic, but I wanted to die.  I think this climb was the hardest thing I've ever done.  I was literally bribing myself to make it to the top: "Ok Mary, if you make it to the top, you can treat yourself to a pedicure... and a new pair of shoes... and Swirl frozen yogurt..."

But at the end of the day (well, actually it was around 10am) we summited the 12,281 mountain.  The torture was finally over and we could now head down the mountain.  We glacaded over 2,000 ft which made the trek down much faster (and also made my butt quite numb).  It was pretty hot that afternoon (especially once we got off of the snow and onto the rocky trail) and we kept having delusions of the end of the trail where our car was waiting for us and a cold stream to stick our aching feet in.  But we finally made it back to the car, drove out to Hood River, filled our craving for burgers and beer, then headed back to Portland where we crashed in our comfy beds and slept a good 12 hours.

West and I were talking about how funny it is how quickly you forget the pain of a miserable experience and quickly say, "That wasn't too bad... I'd climb that beast of a mountain again next week!"  I guess there's just something about conquering something that wasn't so easy to conquer.
If I could add one word to the "miserable" description, it would be: exhausting

Kiersten and West leading the way

Kate heading up the mountain as the sun is about to rise

Kate climbing her first mountain - pretty impressive!

West and Kiersten reaching the summit... I think this is right before West shed tears of joy and relief for surviving

West and I at the summit

Kiersten and I at the summit

The summiting crew

the most beautiful part of the climb

hiking out on the never-ending trail to the car

the group - minus Trung who forgot his sunglasses and had to turn around after sunrise

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