Tag Archives: hiking

Mt. Si High.

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Last weekend, my brother Judson came up to Seattle to visit me and climb Mt. Si with me (cross it off the list), and boy, was it a time. We woke up at 6:00am on Sunday morning and trekked an hour out to North Bend (after consuming a couple McDonalds breakfast sandwiches, of course), where we found ourselves at the foot of a mountain of imposing height. It was cold and misty so we started out the hike with our coats on, but as we slowly ascended the crazy-steep grade, we began shedding layers really quickly until both of us had our sweaters tied around our waists like goons and Judson had the pantlegs of his jeans rolled up (who wears jeans on a serious hike? Come on!).

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It was a really arduous and intense hike, but when we reached the top, my brain was yelling “Worth it!”: there was a thick mist hovering over the rock ledges and even though I couldn’t see much through it, the altitude, and the feeling of power and disbelief at knowing how high you are above everything, was palpable, and we climbed over jagged rocks and crevices to stand up against what, from the outside, looked like the abyss, and it wasn’t scary. It was incredible. I’d definitely like to hike Mt. Si again in the summer, when it’s clear and you can see green for eons, but I’m glad that my first climb was through the mist. It was more timely and applicable to my present existence that way.

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It took us about four hours roundtrip, and after waking up early, saying hi to every hiker and their dog on the trail (no complaints there!), feeling dizzy from the elevation change and getting our muscles wrecked by a mountain, we were exhausted and famished. So we returned to Seattle and ate some monster Elliott Bay subs, and all was right with the world.

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On The Shoulders of Giants.

I decided to go for a hike this morning, thinking it was about time for me to start training to hike Mt. Si this summer. Little did I know that the trail would be covered with snow and ice, and that the low low temperature would create the sensation of intense wind burn on my face, and that my ipod would die fifteen minutes into my hike.

But despite how awful it may sound, it was actually perfect, and exactly what I needed. The extreme cold and the bright whiteness of the snow was like a jolt to my system, and it’s so seldom that I get to experience the degree of silence that I experienced today. It was kind of beautiful.

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Photobucket

I’ve been feeling so stagnant and small lately, but standing on the side of mountain in the snow has given me the kind of perspective that only cold weather and high altitudes can provide. Being on a mountain can make a person feel so large (“I’m so high up above everything, like a god!”) and so small (“I’m a mere speck on the face of this mountain!”) simultaneously. But it was a feeling that I welcomed with half-frozen arms.