Saturday, July 26, 2014

An adventure, with a ton of photo's. Part 2.

Where did we leave off....
 Lunchtime! 4 hours, 30 minutes, 11,400 feet or so, 4 or so miles. That's the pack I wore, it's great since it displaces the weight into your breastbone instead of your shoulders, hips or back.The shoulder straps have velcro flaps (you can see the underneath of one where the drink tube is coming out of) that keep the weight bearing up front. It doesn't bounce around at all, shift or chafe.
 Cheese tortellini, very neutral flavor but it wasn't bad. This was the first time I gave myself a break, and actually sat down for the entire trip so far,
 I was up and across all the rocks, they were sharp and lose so I took my time with a zig zag pattern that would be the norm soon.
 Damn! I got tricked and there were more rocks. I went across instead of up and across to save time.
 I found this cactus in the rock pile and thought it looked awesome.
 There it is, treeline end! The clouds looked great so I decided to keep going, it was still early.
 If you notice the tree's reaching into the valley, I started just about where the left edge sort of takes off on it's own.
 So close to the summit! Just to the right of center you can see some brown dots, that is a herd of about 100 elk. Later I would see one of the females as she popped up over the edge and decided I wasn't friendly and left. She was big, they all were big and the entire hike from this point on I smelled them and stepped in the poop. There are a few hers of this size or bigger on the various peaks if you are lucky enough to see them.
 Same spot looking left at Mount Humboldt. The valley has a lot of snow still, that feed the creek that runs through our cabin property.
 Just when I thought I was at the summit, it was a false summit so I figured this one would be the real one.

 It wasn't the real one, this one let me down too!
 Look, snow! I passed it without noticing, I don't stray close to the edge. I did look for the herd of elk a few times but like I said, they are much more graceful than I am (and brave).
 Yippie! I made it, sort of. I honestly skipped a couple hundred feet, the clouds were starting to build up and I had a long way home still before treeline. The view is the same anyhow. Looking West. I was exhausted to the point where I would take 20 steps and rest for 10 seconds, 30 steps and rest for ten, etc. I was just so damn close I couldn't give up.
 Looking East.
 West here too.
 I did take a break and eat my MRE pears. They tasted great, just like canned pears, and I was angry at myself when I dropped a big spoonful on the ground. I took my shirt off so it would dry out, it ws my adventure team shirt but I don't have an adventure solo shirt.

I headed back down. My legs were starting to cramp up, I was low on water too. Technically it was water with electrolytes but whatever. Once I hit treeline I actually ran out of fluid and was miserable. The only water source was on either side of me, 2 thousand feet down. I trudged on, being angry with myself and when the tree's got thick I got really mad. I was tripping over everything, hit every spiderweb known to exist, stepped on way too many ant hills and my legs just basically started to give out. I stopped sweating and didn't need to pee.

If I had more water I would have been good to go, but since I didn't plan to really summit I didn't think about the additional fluids I would need. It took me 6 hours up and 3 down and it was hot out, I really messed up. It should have taken 2 hours to get back down but I had to stop all the time to rest so I wouldn't collapse.

I finally got back to the cabin, only missing a small portion of my intended route, and I drank 4 bottles of water (including an emergency carbohydrate and electrolyte mix) and got into a cool shower. I was dizzy, wanted to vomit and every muscle in my legs was cramping. I know what that means, it means I'm an idiot and learned a valuable lesson that could have either killed me or had search and rescue trying to find me. Then I had a banana and some ham.
 7 hours later, I was sitting outside and eating 3 hamburger patties. I zoomed in as much as I could for this photo.
See the snow just right of center on that mountain? That's the snow from a picture above that I mentioned. You can also see how many false summits there are. The rock filed area and where the elk were are not in this picture at all, if that gives you any idea of the trip. I think it was 5 miles or so but it was one of the hardest things I've done in years.

I learned even I need more water than I assume I'll need. I learned I'm in pretty awesome condition as far as this kind of crazy activity goes. I knew I was in good shape, but this just reinforced everything I am doing.
Oh... my knee's are just about good enough where I can walk up steps without holding onto the railing, should be back to normal in the morning. I'm also all hydrated and protein loaded.


  1. You might want to ratchet back some. You don't want to be one of those people the search and rescue guys have to carry out.

    1. I should take it a little easy for sure, but it just doesn't seem to be in my nature. Of course, I have no choice but to take it easy right now as walking seems a little.... painful.

  2. Quite a hike. If you carried enough water for the trip, how much other gear would you have to leave behind to keep the weight down?

    1. I think if I had enough water the weight wouldn't have been an issue really. I figure another 10 pounds wouldn't have made a difference overall, hopefully. I didn't have enough gear to make a difference but it's something to consider with a real pack.

      We now have a plan to cache water about 2 miles in, accessible via. ATV. This way the hike in is lighter and we can refill in both directions.

  3. First, I like your pictures. And I was going to suggest maybe to cache some water, and mix, some where along the way. But you beat me to it.

    1. The caching is a great idea, it makes it really easy that we can load it up on the ATV's for delivery and not have to haul it all by hand.
      I'm glad you are enjoying the pictures, I'm a very visual person and enjoy all the pictures everyone has on their blogs, so I try and do a lot here.