So what got me into hiking & climbing? I remember my friend colleen sent me a link of like 10 hikes to do in WA. It was the same year I was getting married & it just didn’t happen because anyone who knows about planning weddings, it consumes your life. That was 2015. May of 2016, little did I know I would fall in love with the raw beauty this state has to offer. But, it didn’t start off so great. The first 3-4 hikes, if you even wanna call them that all have their own epic fail story which is quite funny looking back on. From getting lost, to our destination being the main road & a creeper man who seemed to have other intentions in those woods. After this hike, mud mountain rim, I thought maybe this isn’t for me. I can’t even do one hike right.
It was packwood lake, our next hike where my mindset changed. We finally got it right. It was a perfect beginning hike with little elevation at 9 miles. I just remember being in awe of this lake. It was so pure & clear with an island of trees in the middle and snow covered mountains in the distance. That’s when my hiking took off.
Mailbox peak was next. I escalated quickly in terms of difficulty. Nevermind all the hikes in between. We took the new trail up, and you read trip reports but you really have no clue until you’re there. It was a steady incline and back then I didn’t have the endurance for this hike so it was difficult. The biggest mistake we could have done is ask people, “how much longer?” Everyone would say something different, their idea of a mile could really be .5 or even 1.5. This trail felt like an eternity. We were tired, hot and getting our hopes up. My friend rosie breaks the tree line and she laughs. I said, “are we there?!!” Feeling relief thinking we have made it. Even though the trail report say when you think you’re there you still have a half a mile of straight up but in my head maybe 3/4 of those people in the trip reports didn’t know what they were talking about. Well, they were right. I couldn’t believe how steep this was. I thought it was impossible to be honest. But I’m not one to quit so onward & upward. I’d look back and see I-90 & all the cars looked like tiny ants. I was so scared, I was climbing up the side of an effing mountain and said to myself, “why the f**k am I up here right now?! This is so stupid.” After finally reaching the top, after dying a little, I couldn’t believe I made it. And of course the clouds came rolling in so no view really. When we started back down I told the girls thank goodness for this cloud coverage or I’d be terrified coming down. Makes me giggle because it’s completely different now. I don’t exactly remember how I felt about hiking after, other than feeling exhausted but yet accomplished.
Where does deciding to climb Rainier come in? Well I’ll tell you. I had joined a few hiking groups on Facebook and I looooove the pnw outdoor womens group. You should all join. I’ve met some amazing women in that group. Anyway, a girl named Isabella posted in that group asking advice about rainier because she was thinking of climbing rainier in 2 years, so 2018. A lightbulb went off in my head that I wanted to climb Rainier also. Crazy, I know but I’m an adrenaline junkie, thrill seeker who loves a fun, maybe a little insane adventure. Living life on the edge ya know. Always been that way & doesn’t take me much convincing to be like hell ya let’s do this! I commented on her post that I wanted to climb Rainier too but instead let’s do it next year (2017). I didn’t want to wait 2 years because one, that’s so long and two, it was possible I wanted kids soon. So I made a group with everyone that wanted to join & the rest is history. Ha just kidding but I will have a separate blog just for rainier. Was it absolutely insane? Yes, but why waste time contemplating something you want to do? What is it that is stopping you? Is it scary? Probably. Worried you’re not good enough? Well, you are. Maybe it’s out of your comfort zone? That’s what makes you grow as a person. You can do anything you freaking want if you put your mind to it. I did. I hiked 5 times and said I wanted to climb Rainier. I dreamed about the moment of reaching the top everyday & made that come true. Was I thinking all of the above questioning if I’m capable? Absolutely, but I don’t want to grow old and regret that I didn’t go out and do what my little heart desired and it being too late. I talked to many people throughout my training who told me they wish they had climbed Rainier but can’t now. So, I challenge you to do something you’ve always wanted to do even if it’s out of your comfort zone and do it. Chase that dream. ❤