Mt. Defiance

An Essay By Arthur // 3/4/2012

   One of the most physically challenging experiences I have gone through was a hike up Mt. Defiance. Like its name implies, it defied me every step of the way. This was the hardest hike I’ve ever done, and I hike a lot.

   When I and the others in my group arrived at the trail head, it was about 8:30 in the morning. We set out full of energy, but soon were wishing to stop for a rest. The trail was mercilessly steep, winding back and forth in switchbacks. While we were still low on the slopes, too low for there to be any poison oak, we studied many flowers and learned their names. Luckily our hiking leader had told me the hike was "a two or three sandwich hike" (I should bring three or more), and to bring about 2 quarts of water. Because of that, I never ran out of water, or went hungry. We reached Warren Lake at 3,600 feet, and refilled out water bottles, then continued still upward. The first of us reached the snowline, then stopped; there were trails of foot prints leading everywhere through the snow and we had no idea which to take. When our hiking leader caught up with us, she looked around and decided to go straight up. We trudged up snow banks, digging our toes in to the hard-packed, partly-melted snow so that we wouldn’t slip and fall. The summit was reached, but we were dismayed at our view:  clouds. Although there wasn’t much of a view (except the radio tower that we couldn’t even see the top to), we were still thankful that we had finished the climb. But as we all know "most of what goes up must come down".

   After we had eaten our lunch, we started down. Now I can’t say with honesty that we hiked down, for it was more like running. The path we chose was a lot steeper than the path that we took up, therefore it was quicker descending, though very hard on the knees. When we got to the car, I was sore and tired, but felt that I had overcome the difficulty. The hike had been an exhausting 12-hour, 12-mile hike with an elevation gain of 4,840 feet.




Great job!

Great job, Arthur!  I really enjoyed reading this.  I cannot imagine trying to hike for twelve hours, especially after we tried to tackle Davis Peak a few years ago, which is supposed to be about a 4 mile hike.  I'm glad you decided to post this!

Johanna | Tue, 03/06/2012

"Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of."
- Charles Spurgeon

 That sounds like so much

 That sounds like so much fun, in the way long hikes are fun. ;) We did a 7 miler (but it didn't have a very big elevation increase) on Mt. Ranier this year. Once my mom and I did one that was very steep, but I don't remember how long or high it was, just that it was tiring!
I love the description of "two or three sandwhich hike." 

Kyleigh | Tue, 03/06/2012


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