Mt. Ellinor Ascension Fail #2
I first found myself on these slopes some eighteen years ago with my couple-month-old baby in a fabric sling. It had been a whim-- I went along for the ride, didn't know what I was getting into, thought it was more of a "hiking trail". I didn't want to climb a MOUNTAIN for pity's sake! Of course I gave up quickly, and waited halfway up while DH continued to the top. He was full of the glories of the view from up there.
We tried again now that we have FIVE kids! This time, it was a whim of at least a week's duration. I thought I might be able to hack it. I'm at least a little bit in shape-- well, at least I'm not shaped like Jabba the Hutt, I don't mind parking clear at the far end of parking lots, I can jog up three flights of stairs without a problem. But does that make me in shape for mountain climbing? Not exactly.
Let's have a go at it anyway!
At least we didn't spend much. It's only $5 to park in the parking lot at the "upper trailhead" where there's a 1.6 mile trail to the top. For some reason I was under the impression that a well-maintained short trail like that + not carrying a baby = easy.
It was not easy!
We picked a great day for it, as you can see, with some wonderful Washington weather.
That's the point where I stopped. It wasn't exhaustion that made me stop, it was dizziness! I looked around at the rocks I could see, and it was just so STEEP, so misty and otherworldly, that I who had thought I was immune, succumbed completely to vertigo. I knew once the vertigo came on, nothing would make it go away, except a wide expanse of flat like, say, the Walmart parking lot, with my vehicle parked thereon as a frame of reference. I faced the prospect of the trip back DOWN in this dizzy state and my courage failed. Wasn't scared to continue to top; WAS scared of getting back down again! I happened to stop in a very rocky patch, and my imagination got busy with pictures of what my brains would look like if I went end over teakettle a couple times on these big rocks. That's it. I FAIL! And had to hold DH's hand for comfort all the way to the bottom of the trail again.
Here's some stitches of the view from the place where we stopped, and looking up at the top. That first one shows how steep it was.
As soon as we got down to the trailhead, the mist went away and I got some nice pictures!!
"Rule of thirds" in photography. As you can see, the clouds have lifted so that they only cover the very top of the mountain-- so there wouldn't have been a good view from up there anyway :-)