Two years ago, my buddy Aaron and I spotted a snowy peak from the highway. We pulled over.
“Do you think we can get up there?” he asked me.
“No. That looks way too hard.” I said.
When I got home, I googled it. It was just a two or three day hike. No mountaineering skills required. (Which was good, because we had none.)
We made plans to go back up island and give it a go a few weeks later.
It had been quite the struggle to get all our overnight gear up to the camping spot.
Although I tried to make Aaron pack light, he snuck a fifth of vodka in a GLASS bottle past me. At least he shared it with everyone at the campsite.
And on day two, we made it to the summit!
What a gorgeous mountain!
Unfortunately, heading back down was rather unpleasant and difficult with our big overnight bags on the steep and challenging trails.
I felt totally exhausted by the end of it.
We had tackled roughly the same elevation change as the standard route up Mt. Baker.
On our way, I we ran into a middle-aged woman doing Kings Peak as a day trip. And by ran into, I mean she was totally zooming to pass us and I made her stop and answer my questions.
How was she doing this alone? How was she doing this as a day trip? How was she so fast?
I am sure she does not remember me. But seeing her inspired a new chapter of my life in the mountains. Maybe I could be like her too some day…
Fast forward two years
Last weekend, my friend Natalia and I made it to the summit of Kings Peak in 5.5 hours. Round trip with a leisurely lunch at the summit was 11 hours. Day trip, complete.
Kings Peak has the best view on the island. You can see so many of the mountains, which now feel like old friends.
We spent a long time on the summit. I just kept thinking about all the trips I’ve done and all the people I’ve spent time with out here. And all the trips that are yet to come.
Tips for making your next adventure a safe one
This type of undertaking is not a beginner trip. Nothing wrong with giving it a go, but know what time you need to turn around and make sure you have enough energy to get back safely.
Even if you are going fast and light, you must bring the 10 essentials. This includes warm clothes, even in the summer).
Leave a detailed trip plan with someone who will call 911 if you don’t come home on time.