So it happened that 2023 rolled around, and New Year's Day fell on a Sunday. That meant that I got the following Monday, January 2nd as a holiday from work. And, the fact that I was still a little jet lagged from hanging out in Pennsylvania meant that I was well and truly motivated to get up early for a hike.
And, I actually mean that I got up kind of early. I was catching a stunning sunrise as I cruised along I-90. My destination was one of the popular and formidable Mt. Si trail.
My main motivation for hiking Mt. Si was simple. It's a popular conditioning hike, for people working their way up to attempting more strenuous things, like climbing Mt. Rainier. I had fitness goals for the year, as always, motivated by the desire to reach places I couldn't otherwise reach.
I had no plans for climbing Mt. Rainier, but I wanted to know how close I was to that yardstick, how quickly I could do the 3,150 ft of elevation gain...
|Name||Mt. Si Trail|
|Type||out and back|
|Location||Mount Si Natural Resources Conservation Area|
|Check out the trails index for information on more trails!|
So, how is the actual hike? To be perfectly honest, I found a lot of the longer, forested sections a little boring. Don't get me wrong, it's still a beautiful forest, but I didn't find myself as enraptured as I have felt in other forests.
As I continued to climb up, microspikes became necessary to prevent slipping on the compacted snow and ice lining the trail. Openings in the trees allowed high winds to cut through, which were able to chill my sweat quite effectively, leaving me cold if I did not replace layers in time.
And, there lies the crux of thermal management -- add or subtract layers before you think you need to! 😏
I must admit that I was used to warmer temperatures and less cutting wind, especially at the top of Mt. Si, and I did not put my jackets back on as quickly as I should have. I found myself chilly despite wearing every layer I had brought, my fingers going numb. 🙃
So I did not enjoy the summit as much as I hoped I would, and I have since swapped my kit around to ensure that I bring a warmer puffy with me in the future!
The other thing I failed to bring along with me was my Olympus camera + 12-200mm lens, a favorite hiking companion of mine. I packed it in its bag and simply forgot to bring it to the car. Fortunately, I had my phone, but the images are much less to my liking owing to its processing and sharpening.
This hike wasn't my favorite, but the view was spectacular, and I wouldn't mind doing it again. Y'know, for the workout.
I didn't perfectly track how quickly I ascended, especially since I was still snapping whatever photos I could along the way, but it turns out I'm not all that far away from being ready to climb mountains. 💪💪💪
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