Snow but no snow bunnies on top of Mt Si
It is a holiday tradition of mine to run up a mountain. I am not sure why. Perhaps this came about when holidays meant work breaks. Heading for the hills to enjoy the day off and time away from an office seemed a perfect option. Perhaps it is because holidays come with good food and a good metabolism boost before a big feast never hurts. Conquering a mountain has become my holiday celebration of sorts. I have also found, that people are very friendly in the woods, especially on holidays, where an ice-breaker/greeting is a given. So if you want to give and receive some festive well wishing, some well traveled woods provide a good location. Today’s greeting was of course, ‘Happy Easter’.
The mountain, more often than not, tends to be Mount Si. Mount Si is located East of Seattle in North Bend, Washington. In about half an hour, I am at the base, ready for an 8 mile run with 4167 feet of elevation gain. I have this ongoing goal of running it twice, but halfway up I tend to convince myself that once might just be enough. This is a popular climb for mountaineers training with their loaded up packs, poles and Yak Trax. The ultra-runners go up and down. I am passed by another runner heading up fast with long strides, on the way down, I ask him, “how many times today?” “Today I do three, Happy Easter!” he yells.
The climb is worthwhile, the views at the top are spectacular. It is warm and dry at the start, t-shirt and shorts weather. It is amazing to experience the climate changing as elevation is gained. The breezes get chillier then the trail is wet. A young woman passes me on the way down at this point and giggles saying, ‘good-luck!’. I know then it will be slippery from here to the top. There is still a blanket of white slushy snow just below the haystack. The scramble up the haystack yields far reaching views on a clear day. I decided it was a little too slippery for me to take this on today. A fun group of hikers made the best of the slickness and skidded down in a crouching glissade position, their descent expressed with lots of giggling and laughter. Soon the trail is dry again. The run down is fast and light footed, over roots and scraggly rocks, and some careful dodging of fellow hikers as well.
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