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    hiking
    no shade
    off trail
    rocky
    snow
    27 days ago

    As of July 28, 2019, excellent, clear conditions up to the summit. Our team turned around at about 13,000 feet due to feeling nauseous (altitude sickness). This is even despite spending an entire day at Camp Schurman to adjust to the altitude. But it’s just one of those things that you can’t “push through“ without dire consequences. Remember: the goal of the trip is not to get to the top of the mountain but back to your car. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.“ A few tips: - The White River Ranger station opens at 7:30 AM. Be there early, especially if you are planning to camp Friday, Saturday, or Sunday night. We were there at 7:25 AM, and there were already 10 people ahead of us in line. Plus there was no internet at the station, so they had to manually call in every single reservation to verify them. There appeared to be very little interest in attempting to fix this issue or find a solution. (ah the efficiency of the federal government… It’s a good thing they’re not responsible for something really important, like our healthcare.)(oh wait) - Wear/bring trail shoes for the hike in. - There is a bear box that you can put food in. Absolutely use it. There are mice everywhere throughout the camp, and they will climb in your bag. We even had a team who unzipped their tent and a mouse actually jumped all caps into the tent. It took them quite a bit to get the little guy out. - Melted glacier water is available at Camp Schurman. No need to melt snow. Just purify it. - Super windy at night (both nights we were up there). Be sure your tent is stakes down tightly. The wind folded our tent flat, but dang the REI Half Dome is amazing. - Conditions of the trail up the Emmons glacier are good. Of course there will be collapsed ice bridges, so be sure to have an experienced team who knows who crevasse rescue skills. - If it’s sunny, snow will get slushy at or before 10am. If you’re still on your way the mountain at 8:30am (our turnaround time), I wouldn’t suggest it. Have a turnaround time and stick with it. - There are crevasses on inter glacier. No need to rope up, but just watch your step, ESPECIALLY when glissading down. There’s a big enough one to break both your legs if you fall in it. - Plenty of water along the trail, all the way to inter glacier. - if you lost a black, lightweight Marmot glove… It’s up there at Schurman, sitting on a rock. - Rope up on Emmons. Always. Even on the way down. Odds are you won’t feel like it, but just do it. Overall it’s a fantastic route, and probably even safer it than DC considering the experienced climbers on this route and no rock fall being pushed on you from the Cleaver. Just keep in mind within the next two weeks the route will be dramatically different, especially with all of this sun. Things are opening up and the climbing season for this route is on the downward trajectory in terms of popularity/safety. Rock on, friends! Hope this helps!

    trail running
    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    I uploaded a handy YouTube review (just search for "Goat Island Mountain, Rainier" on YouTube. Or if AllTrails allows clickable links, here you go: https://youtu.be/EF6HCdKxCFU ). It's filmed from the top and talks about the trail. Most of this trail is off the beaten path, and if you’re not comfortable with route-finding you should not do it. It is definitely NOT a moderate trail, as you will see it rated. It is quite difficult, albeit wildly rewarding. Biggest recommendation: I would not make this a loop when we do it next time. The descent (or ascent, if you’re doing it backwards from us) is through very steep, sketchy brush with no trail. Even following other’s recordings, it was not cool. You will slip, and of course you’ll catch yourself, but you will get cut up. Before warned if you are as stubborn as we were and thought, “I don’t want to backtrack! I’m just going to drop straight down to the car! No problem!“ Just look at the recordings and you will see how quickly you drop down to the trail head from Goat Island Mountain Ridge. If there was an established trail, it would not be so bad. With that said, this is an absolutely stunning trail, once you’re on the ridge. The view of Mount Rainier is absolutely unobstructed. You can see the mouth of frying pan glacier turning out mass of waterfalls that rival the Lord of the Rings Middle Earth. I would simply start at the frying pan Creek Trail head and go up towards Summerland. Right before the trail peels off to go up to Summerland, you simply hop down and follow frying pan creek up towards the mountain. You will eventually find a dry creek bed (summertime) if you stay to the right of the frying pan creek on your way up. Follow the dry creek bed up a steep section, picking your way through meadows. Once you are on the ridge line, simply follow it straight up. Every once in a while you will find an established trail (boot pack) and if you find yourself tangled up in trees, keep pushing through and in 60 seconds you will find yourself back on the open ridge. You will know you are at Goat Island Mt when you find the boulder the size of a small barbecue with a 1982 earthquake research benchmark on it. There are surrounding peaks 200 feet higher (see YouTube video), which you are welcome to walk 5 minutes up those to get an even better view of Mount Adams and even the Sunrise parking lot. If you’re feeling tempted to drop straight down the ridge line back to the frying pan creek trail head, you are not alone. I think everyone thinks it’s easier then backtracking. I’m pretty sure that’s why this trail is considered a loop (see first recording) instead of an out and back. Overall this is an absolutely stunning trail that is an absolute must for those who don’t mind a rather difficult, half marathon distance hike. Sidenote: The person who rated this trail 1/5 stars did not actually do this trail. You will see according to her recording, she actually went to Summerland. Sidenote #2: this is not a “moderate“ hike. It should definitely be rated “difficult.“

    trail running
    Saturday, July 14, 2018

    I went up the new trail and down the old trail. I packed light and alternated between jogging and “striding out“ on the steep sections. It took me 1 hour 40 minutes to the top. Here’s what I learned: Top 10 tips hikers need to know for Mailbox Peak: 1. Parking is a nightmare. Instead of battling for a parking space, park 10 mins down the road at Twin Falls Middle School. Bring $2.75 (each way, so $5.50 total) or your Orca card to pay the fare. There is a sandwich board where to stand for the shuttle, which comes ever 10-15 minutes. You can’t miss it, and it beats the hassle of parking. Note: there are pit toilets at the parking lot once you get dropped off from the shuttle and you walk uphill. Please close the lid of the toilet, guys. 2. Once dropped off by the shuttle, walk up the paved hill until you get to a gate across a gravel road (on your left). Just look for the big gate/bar across the road... That is the start of the trail. Follow this gravel road uphill until you get to the trailhead. (You’ll see a sign) Head left, and walk uphill until you get to the top! Note: these directions are for the “new trail.“ If you want the “old trail,” keep going up this gravel road until you come to another sign on your left that indicates Mailbox Peak. Head left and up! 3. Most important tip: bring water. Seriously bring LOTS of water. There are no creeks, streams, or lakes. I jogged/fast-walked the entire thing, so I wasn’t hiking long, so I thought I could get away with just 2 liters. I STILL ran out of water 1/2 way down. Sure I survived, but I felt pretty gross driving back. Recommendation: bring a gallon of water. Yes it’s an obscene amount, but you will thank me. You will have a difficult time choking down that much water, so sprinkle some Kool-Aid powder or power aid mixture to give you an incentive to drink it. 4. Mailbox at the top: Bring a sticker for the mailbox. Don’t be that guy who puts food in the mailbox. That’s why there are flies everywhere—from the person that day who put a box of raisins to cook in the mailbox. 5. Old trail? Or new trail? Unless you are in marathon running shape, do NOT take the old trail up OR down. The old trail is very technical with lots of roots. Seriously you can’t walk 12 inches without getting your foot caught on a root, which is exhausting (or challenging!). Recommendation: take the “new trail.” The volunteers who put the new trail together did an absolutely INCREDIBLE job with it. It’s smooth, rolling, and easy to pass people (double wide!). You will thank me! But if you choose the old trail, unless you run Spartan races continuously, you will tell yourself “We should’ve listened to that review on AllTrails.”) 6. Sunscreen, yes or no? Virtually the entire trail is shaded, which is perfect for summer hiking. Up until the last part, when you hop out onto the exposed rock, only then do you start to bake. Recommendation: right before you come out of the trees, slather up. Seriously the sun is 27,000,000°F and your dreams of your “light sunburn turning into a tan” is only an illusion. 7. Beer at the top? Yes, getting to the summit is exhilarating, but celebrating by drinking a diuretic is the last thing you want to do to your body. Remember, when you’re at the top you are only 50% done with the hike. 90% of mountaineering accidents happen on the way DOWN, when fatigue is setting in and gravity is pulling you down. You need to be on your A-game going downhill, not buzzed. Save the beer for when you get home, and even then re-hydrate. If you insist on sipping a beer at the top, just know there are a lot of people laughing at your pretentious hipster self. 8. 10 Essentials: bring them. From a first aid kit (including mole skin) to a flashlight. The only thing: bug repellent isn’t really necessary. There is no standing water nearby, and odds are when you are sitting up on the summit, away from the mailbox, there will be a slight breeze to keep the bugs away. Tip: trekking poles will save your knees if you are hiking. Running? They will get in the way. 9. Save cell phone battery life: Using the All Trails app to record your hike, right after you press “record“ (at the start of your hike of course) switch your phone into airplane mode. This will save your battery and it will still be tracking your GPS signal. Tested on a very well-used battery on an iPhone 6s, and still had 80% battery life after the entire hike. 10. Dogs: there are quite a few. I love seeing them. But please if you’re a dog owner, bring bags for the dog poo and pack it out. Don’t kick the poop off the trail into the bushes... I know it’s “natural“ and there are a lot of animals that poop in the woods, but we can still smell it fermenting—especially after 100 dogs/day go on the trail. Plus dog poop has a very distinct odor that tends to ruin the moment. And of course, lots of water for doggo! This is a fantastic hike that every WA hiker must go on. -Beau Chevassus

    trail running
    10 months ago

    hiking
    Saturday, July 14, 2018