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Mount Si Hike

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So yesterday it was beautiful. I didnt’ have a whole lot to do at work, and I wanted to just get away and clear my head a bit. So I decided to go for a hike on Mount Si. For those of you that have never been to Mount Si, it’s a wonderful hike, but definitely not for the out of shape. It starts at about 700 feet elevation and climbs to just over 4,100 feet in 4 miles. It’s pretty steep and it probably was NOT the best choice for my first hike of the season. But it was my choice and off I went. I arrived at the trailhead around 2PM and started up. Now a few years ago, when I was training for Rainier, the goal was to be at the top in about 2 hours. It took me over 3 hours yesterday. My legs are in much worse shape than they were when I was training every weekend. Mount Si is one of the most popular trails in the Seattle area, so I would NOT recommend going on a Saturday or Sunday, or you may as well wait in line to get to the top. Yesterday was surprisingly busy as well. There was a church group of about 40 people on the mountain. We kept passing each other on the way up and finally at about 2 miles they left me behind. I was REALLY hoping they were on their way back down when I got to the top, but no such luck.

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View from Mount Si Trail – Click for Larger Image

The views on the way up are very sporadic, but when you get a view, it’s stunning (see pic above)! You’re mostly under the canopy of trees and following switchbacks all the way up. At about the 2.5 mile mark, I could feel cramps forming in my quadriceps, as is normal with me on any strenuous workout. At the 3.5 mile mark, cramps started in my hamstrings. This was new for me. But I was bound and determined to make the top. With the cramps in my quads, I knew coming down was going to be a LOT of fun. Just before you scramble through the boulder field approaching the top, if you look back, on a clear day you can see Mount Rainier. Yesterday was cool as there were a ring of clouds around Rainier.

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View of Mount Rainier from Mount Si

As you come through the boulder scramble at the top, you’re greeted by the Mt. Si Haystack.

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Mount Si Haystack

At some point I want to be in good enough shape to scramble up the haystack. Yesterday was definitely NOT that day. Once you come around the bend at the top, there are some nice benches that you can sit on and contemplate life. (As long as there is not a group of 40 nuns, brothers, fathers and bishops hanging out there too) And the view of the Snoqualamie valley is not to be missed! You can see all the way to Seattle on clear days. Yesterday it was just a bit hazy, but you could make out the skyline in the haze.

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View from Mount Si

I sat on top and enjoyed a sandwich, some nuts and fruit for about a half an hour before heading down. All tolled, my time on the mountain was 6 hours. Definitely not any land speed records, but I’m happy to have accomplished this very tough hike as my first of the season! One more thing I can check off on my Summer to do list!

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AUTHOR - John Hurlbut

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  • Avatar

    Steve Bargelt | Jun 25, 2008 at 10:34 am

    NICE! I SO wanted to go with you but work (damned work) got in the way!

  • Avatar

    sks | Jun 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Beautiful. And impressive! Congrats.

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