July 28, 2013

Wild Woman Marathon and Climbing Mt. Adams

Me and my WILD WOMEN!


 I was blessed with a weekend of serious insanity! It consisted of running in a the Wild Woman's Marathon relay on Saturday and Climbing Mt. Adams Sunday morning at 1:30AM. The weather was gorgeous and I felt blessed, once again, to share this experience with Rob. 

I wasn't expecting him to, but he drove 4 hours to support me in my race, hand out water to the runners, and climb a major mountain with me! Couldn't have been any better. 

Mt. Adams is the 9th most 
prominent mountain in the lower 48 states. This was quite the climb! In one day we climbed 6532 ft. Many people climb to lunch counter, the day before, so they are able to get acclimated. 

Starting the climb at 1:30am, was amazing! Clear starry skies  and a full moon that lit up the trail greeted us with its welcoming presence. Pure beauty surrounded every step. Night time hiking takes hiking to a whole new level! The crunch of every footstep radiated through the darkness. Crickets sang, and leaves swayed to the light breeze as if a beautiful melody was being played to our journey. Often times, Rob (a very talented musician I might say), will join in with the song and form a bit of beat boxing; becoming one with the symphony of the night. 
As we reached our first steep snowy slope of the night, we got out our ice axes and strapped on our crampons. Spider man has now hit the slopes!...haha... I wish! Being that it was my first time using crampons, I stayed cautious, but they were sure a lot better than none! 

"Lunch Counter" (~9,000 ft), where this You tube video was taken, was a great little resting spot. This video portrays my one of my thoughts about climbing Mt. Adams (the ant hill). As people tried to conquer this beast,  they looked like a stream of ants climbing up an ant hill. 

The warm sun welcomed us to a breath-taking morning, as we enjoyed the beautiful sunrise light up the surrounding landscape, including Mt Hood and Mt. St. Helens. Thinking back to conquering Mt. St. Helens 2 months ago, brought back many amazing memories that are going to last a lifetime. 


The next 3,000 ft. climb was definitely challenging. As soon as we passed 9,000 feet, I started feeling the affects of altitude for the first time in my life. The lack of oxygen causes most people to get a little dizzy, which is what Rob was feeling. I never got dizzy, but all I wanted to do was sleep! I was hard o keep them open because my eyelids felt like they were holding up massive weights. 

Rob and I took our own path as we wondered up the East side of the mountain and came across some insane ice cliffs. We maneuvered around these massive cliffs, and got on some 60 degree slopes, which kind of freaked me out because of the snow starting to turn to slush. There is no way that I felt comfortable with slush holding my weight. 

At about 10,700 ft, we switched back over to the common route, which turned out to be a walk in the park aside from breathing strenuously after a few steps. With a thousand feet left to conquer, it seemed like it was taking a very long time. No matter how hard we breathed, we just weren't getting the oxygen our bodies were used to getting at 3,000 feet. Of course this is a given, but it felt unbelievable when I actually experienced it for the first time. 

Mt. Hood

Yes, there were a few times when I wasn't sure if we were ever going to make it. I wasn't going to stop, but it almost seemed as if the mountain was growing. After hours of climbing, branching off on our own path, and a much needed sun-basking nap, we finally made it to the top! 

Mt. St. Helens from lunch counter

Mt. Rainier from the tip top of Adams

At the top of Mt. Adams there is a memorial for a guy with the last name "Forester". I had my Smokey the bear handkerchief and left it tied to the memorial with all of the other handkerchiefs. It was nice to leave something behind, because I become a whole new person with every mountain I climb. Not one mountain is the same. They all give you experiences and challenges that are unique to themselves. Not only that, but the view at the top is totally worth the climb. Most of all, glissading down an enormous mountain makes it ABSOLUTELY worth the climb! Here's a Youtube video of one of the most amazing experiences of a lifetime! It's not my video, but it give you the idea! 

Complete freedom! I screamed at the top of my lungs the entire way down and it felt absolutely amazing! 

After our long climb, Rob and I stopped for some delicious veggie pizza to wake us up for our 5 hour drive back to reality. As Bill and Ted might say, "That was a most excellent adventure!" 

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