I decided that I should, being a local, climb the Chief. I should be able to say, “yeah, I climbed the Chief last weekend”
So I set a time and day, invited a friend to come along, and we did it.
The day started innocently enough. Really – its not THAT bad. The walk to the trail was cool, through the campground, and kids were shivering.
Then we got to the trailhead – its changed. Rather than the impossible climb over the first rock to get to the set of stairs, they’ve installed a gradual set of stairs, making it just that much more fun to start.
I forgot about the stairs. More accurately, I forgot how MANY stairs there were.
I’ve DONE the Chief before. I climbed it 9 months pregnant. I climbed it 2X last year. Theoretically – I should remember the climb.
I didn’t. The stairs just about killed me. I swear its 10 or 15 stories of stairs. I didn’t count. I should have. Next time I will.
Finally get through the stairs.
Lets be clear. I get through the MAN MADE stairs. Do you know what comes after that? The “natural” stairs made of rocks and roots and hill. Shored up by wood and formed into staircases.
We stopped a lot. It took us about 3.5 hours to get to the first peak (yeah yeah – super slow, I know. But we had kids and me. I go and stop and go and stop)
Get to within a km of the peak. Hey! Lemonade stand!!
Lemonade was good!!! Hard to believe these boys hike all this stuff up every day and back :p
At this point we’re about 700m from the top. Which is a short walk, yanno? Except its not, really. the rest of this walk is almost vertical, employing ladders and chains and straight up the rock. The dog didn’t want to climb up the ladders 😉
We had a lovely lunch at the top.
Note to self: when the dog is on the top of the mountain, do NOT let him offleash. Why? You ask? Because someone, somewhere, will invariably throw, flick or otherwise dispose of something.
In today’s instance, it was a cherry. The cherry went flying and rolled towards the edge of the cliff. The dog ran after it. Full force. EVERYONE at the top of the mountain screaming at him to STOP, COME BACK.
Scariest moment I have EVER had as a pet owner.
He did, and was promptly leashed.
We finished our lunch, and took some pictures… Its nice to feel on top of the world….
What goes up, must come down.
The hike back down was almost, in some ways, more difficult than going up.
That race for the cherry the dog did? The sudden stop resulted in him hurting his pads – there’s a layer taken off his back pads. He did NOT want to walk down, and I had to literally push him down some particularly steep areas. Poor puppy.
However, the result of that was this:
Poor doggy… was so done. The idea of walking was more than repugnant. Every imagined break he’d lie down.
We made it down. Eventually. My thighs, my butt, my hips… all protesting seriously, but we made it.
What takes the average person 2-3 hours up and down took us 6. That’s ok – that means there’s room for improvement. It was a good day. We had fun. Mostly. I’ll do it again.
If you’ve given birth, there’s this phenomenon that happens. The pain, the struggle, the frustration… its all magically forgotten when you get the reward at the end.
Today’s reward was worth it.
And in about 1/2 hour… there will be the hot tub.
I’m supposed to be running tonight. My running partner hasn’t confirmed – its our first night and we hadn’t firmed up plans. I’m not sure if I should – but if she calls me, I will 🙂
I have the hottub for later, too 🙂