May 17, 2012 | Posted in:Uncategorized
My North Cascades trip ending a day early was almost a blessing of sorts. While I would have loved to stay there longer, it was a good time to leave. When we got back into town, I had a text from Stuart asking if I wanted to hike Rainier on Sunday. Seeing as it was 8pm on Saturday and I was still a solid hour from Seattle, I had to think about it for a few minutes. Rainier meant an early morning and my gear was all still soaking wet and in disarray. It seemed like a silly idea at first.
I quickly changed my attitude and realized how much fun it would be. Plus, I already told everyone I would be gone through Sunday, so I might as well live up to that promise.
So, I hurried home and began the process of unpacking/repacking for the following morning. I was a little tired, so the process was slow, but I finally managed to get everything together by about 3am, just in time for a little nap before I was picked up at 5am. We made good time and watched a spectacular sunrise on the way down to Rainier. There was still not a cloud in the sky. We were in for an awesome day, further confirming my decision was in fact a good one. It didn’t bother me in the least that I was running on virtually no sleep and my body was already sore from lugging around gear for two days.
I did unfortunately make a conscious decision to leave my camera gear at home (lucky for you, that means camera phone!). I was on day three and the extra weight did not sound appealing. Also, I know Stuart likes to hike fast. And hike fast we did. Well, at least according to my standards. We made it up to Camp Muir at 12:30, a solid 3.5 hours after we left the parking lot. To put it in perspective, thats a solid hour faster than when I did it two weeks prior on fresh legs.
The view was spectacular. We could see not only Adams and St Helens, but Hood was visible off in the distance as well. After hanging out for a bit and drinking a mandatory beer, we began our descent. Rainier I believe I mentioned before, is not known for having particularly good snow. There a lots of people, and the weather has its way with the snow. Today was an exception. The snow was fantastic! We had a spectacular run down, stopping about 3/4 of the way down to meet up with some of Stuart’s friends who stayed low and spent the day building jumps.
We stuck around for a couple hours hitting some pretty cool features. I just hung out, feeling pretty exhausted and not trusting myself to hit much on my split. It still made for a fun relaxing afternoon.
It all culminated in an interesting ride home. Due to some logistical details, Stuart and I ended up riding home in a different car. An Outback to be precise, without any roof racks, and 5 of us in total. That makes 5 people, 4 snowboard, and two pairs of skis (he wasn’t sure which ones he would need, so he brought two pairs). Now, if you are having a hard time picturing how we all fit, that is because we didn’t really. The gear took up a little over a seat’s worth of space, making for an incredibly cramped ride home. Something I don’t hope to ever repeat, but all we could really do was laugh about it.