Slayed Mailbox Peak

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A few weekends ago we hiked up Mount Si (read about it here). It was a difficult hike, but nothing we couldn’t handle. On the way down I was thinking I wanted something harder then Si to do next so I suggested we hike Mailbox in two weeks. John was all for it and Michelle reluctantly went along with the Idea.

Two weeks later, yesterday, we hiked up Mailbox Peak. Wow. What a difference – My ideas about mailbox:

Mailbox is a stone cold killer; It’s relentless, it never lets up, it’s hard, it’s steep, and I wanted to turn back a few times. Some of the steps you have to make to get up over the next root are waist high. Coming down was almost as hard as going up due to the extreme angle. – I hurt, it sucked, bit I enjoyed it, and I’ll do it again

If I can still do basic Trig, 4,000 feet of elevation gain over a 2.5 mile distance works out to about an 18 degree angle. Mount Si is 3,500 feet of gain over 4 miles which works out to a 10 degree angle. Doing the math it does not seem horrible, doing the hike I would swear it was a 45 degree angle, maybe 60 in some places. Capturing angle with a camera is a hard thing to do, so you really have to hike it to understand. I’ll need to take some angle tools next time we do a hard core hike.

Michelle’s heels were hurting and John wanted to go a bit faster so he took off on his own about 1/4 of the way up. We tried to patch Michelle’s blisters, but we were not successful so she ended up turning back at the half way elevation point.  Michelle is determined. It was hard to talk her into going back. She was cussing at the mountain telling it it was not going to beat her. In the end the pain and rational thought were too much for her and she turned back. After I split from Michelle I did my best to scramble up the mountain.

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After I was starting to get above the tree line and I could see the tops of other mountains, at the 3200 feet level on my watch, I say the above pictured rock patch and figured the top must be right at the top of the rocks. I wanted to head out on the rock field and climb up the rocks to the top, but I held off and continued up the trail. Glad I waited; about 7 minutes later the trail took me above the rock field and I got to see how far I really had to go to make the top.

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The Stupid mountain was teasing me, trying to hurt me, trying to make me turn back. The last 500 feet of gain was the hardest. It got steeper and harder. I would take 10 steps then I’d have to stop and catch my breath for a bit before I could go on. I looked up there with my spotting scope and I could see the mailbox and John Heading up towards it. Either I caught up to him or he saw and was not coming down to meet me. He was going back up to wait for me. I cursed him for making me hike up to him. After making it and talking to him, it turned out I’d caught up to him. Eventfully I made it to the top, and we got to take our picture by the mailbox.

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We signed our names one of the books before we started on the gassy journey down. Coming down was almost as hard as going up. Actually coming down hurt more then going up because the angle and all of the hard deep steps we had to take over the rough ground. 3 hours up and an hour an a half down, we made it. I want to do it again next year after a full season of hiking and compare the pain. I’m sore today, but I feel awesome having done it. Mailbox is one of if not the hardest peaks in the range below 10,000 feet. It’s a relentless Mountain.

Click the following link to see the rest of the pictures I took http://pics.wlkmmas.org/main.php?g2_itemId=168972

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