Monday, November 16, 2015

Mt. Stuart

Nick and I climbed Mt. Stuart in September.
In a word, it was EPIC. 

Truly one of the most fun things we've experienced together.

Fun and crazy are synonymous in my family, as evidenced below.

Our fearless leader.

So excited to leave our kids for 24 hours.

Stuart isn't technically part of the Enchantments, but you can see the Enchantments from Stuart, so it's a win-win. We started climbing at 9 PM or so. First you climb up several thousand feet, then you climb down a thousand feet and camp. Since my dad is insane, we camped for a whopping 1 1/2 hours. We reached the river in the bottom of the ravine at about 1 AM. We filtered water and then slept/froze to death under the stars with MICE CRAWLING ALL OVER US until about 3 AM. Then we started hiking again.

Most people think this is insane and spend an actual night in the ravine and then hike the next day well rested. We were on a time crunch (many in our party had small children and couldn't leave them very long) and honestly, hiking in the dark, half-asleep is such a blessing. You can't see how far you have to go - you just climb and climb and climb, only seeing what your headlamp allows you to see.

Plus when the sun rose, we had a killer view. Spectacular even.

Looking like crap - don't judge. Also, nobody told me I still had my headlamp on until about 10 AM.

Sun poking out, Nick climbing like a boss. Many people forget that Nick had major knee surgery six months ago. This climb was not easy for him, but he killed it.

Some phone shots - seriously doesn't do it justice.

Stuart is interesting because it takes FOREVER. It's a lot of scrambling and loose rock. I definitely found it more challenging than Mt. Hood because snow is smooth for the most part. Also, you can see the top of Stuart the whole time you are climbing and it NEVER seems to get closer.

Me, looking fab in the wee hours of the morning.

Some mountain goats.

False false summit of Stuart.

These two! My mom did so amazing. Super proud of her!

My dear friend Amy. I didn't know her before the climb,and now I feel like we're buds.

Due to some time constraints, we only made it to the false summit (about 500-700 feet ish from the top). We were worried about not getting back to our kids in time. I was sort of bummed because I felt good and could have made it to the top, but it was still so fun and you can't be mad about that sort of thing. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to do it again. And I know 500 feet seems like nothing, but when you are scrambling basically vertically, it's tough climbing.

Another cheesy selfie of me. I was hiking sort of by myself at this point. Nick was a bit behind me and some other climbers were a bit ahead of me - a selfie solved the problem.

Coming down took SO MUCH LONGER then going up. I loathe coming down. It's so dang hard on my knees and it's just not as fun. I love the climb up.

Pretty much sums it up. It's hard to go two days without sleep.

On the way back it was misty and so beautiful. A little eerie, but just how a thick forest should feel.

We hardly ever get to adventure together. Usually we have to take turns, which is really lame. So it's definitely a treat to hike behind this guy (mostly because of the view).

The top of Stuart is definitely on my bucket list. I can't wait to go back. And a huge thank you to my Dad for arranging all these crazy shenanigans. 

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