8/14/2010 08:53:00 AM

Day 80 and 81 (July 25 and 26, 2010)– A Couple of very long Days

In order for me to go on my backpacking trip. I had to work a couple of long work days such as a breakfast, brunch, dinner. That was a fun day. Other than that, I am excited about the chance to use my brand new backpack. Sorry, Dad, I went to REI to pick out the backpack I wanted to get for my birthday in October and got talked into an internal frame backpack. Yes, I got my birthday present from my parents very early, but it has gotten some use right off the bat.

8/08/2010 05:07:00 PM

Day 79 (July 24, 2010)– Amazing Shift Switching

So apparently, my manager didn’t get my time off request form, so he didn’t give me the days off I needed to go backpacking. Which really sucked, but I was able though about 6 different switches get the days off anyways. Which means the trip is on and I will get to hike the north section of Wonderland.

8/08/2010 02:02:00 PM

Day 77 and 28 (July 22 and 23, 2010)– Work

Nothing new going on just work and hopeing I get the days off I need next week to go backpacking.

8/08/2010 12:57:00 PM

Day 76 (July 21, 2010)– Comet Falls

I had the afternoon off today, so I decided to hike to Comet Falls. Comet Fall is suppose to be the best waterfall in the entire park. I went hiking with two of my friends, Kelly and Steven.

We drove down to Comet Falls trailhead and started up the trail. About 0.3 miles up the trail we cross over Christine Falls. Christine Falls is a little waterfall that can be seen from the road so lots of tourists stop there.

From there we headed uphill for 1.3 mile to the falls. The falls just appeared out of the woods, and were amazing.

From Comet, we hiked up closer to the base and then up to the top of the falls. Where we say two Mountain Goats on the next ridge.

8/08/2010 06:22:00 AM

Day 75 (July 20, 2010)– John’s Last Day on the Mountain

Today was John’s last day. It was sad to see him go, and was a fresh reminder that I would be leaving the mountain in a couple of week. It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over and I will be saying goodbye to many of my new friends.

8/08/2010 03:21:00 AM

Day 74 (July 19, 2010)– The Great Ovi Arrives

Basically since I have arrived, I have heard all about Ovi. Ovi is from Romania and has worked at Mount Rainier for 3 years (I think). I was working with him for about a two hours and I totally understand why everyone kept going on about him.

8/06/2010 07:27:00 PM

Day 73 (July 18, 2010)– John’s Last Day of Work

A couple a weeks ago, I did a post about hiking with one of the Singaporean’s Jonathan. Well today is his last day on the mountain. It is a sad day for me. He is my favorite dishwasher and always made going back into the kitchen interesting. But alas, John is going to take a quick tour of the U.S. and then head back to Singapore for school.

8/06/2010 06:24:00 PM

Day 72 (July 17, 2010)– Three-quarters of the way to Camp Muir

Since I had today off as well, I know it seems like I never work but I actually do on occasion. I usually work my hiking in around work schedule. Basically if I have free time, I am probably hiking.

So the goal for today was to hike to Camp Muir. Camp Muir is named after the naturalist John Muir. John Muir founded the Sierra Club and was a conservation supporter. John Muir visited Mount Rainer and my favorite story about him comes from this visit. His plan had been to just hike up a part way up the mountain, but in a letter to his wife he tells his wife pushing upwards and the next thing he know he is standing on the summit.

Camp Muir is a camp where climbers typically spend the night at before summiting the mountain. Camp Muir is about a 4.1 mile hike from Paradise. 4.1 miles seems like an easy enough hike, but it’s not. It is a grueling 4.1 mile hike with about 4,900 feet of elevation gain. Plus add in the sun beating up and down on you. Up on you, what am I talking about? SNOW! On the mountain you risk sunburn not just from the sun but its reflection off the snow so it is easy to burn your chin, underside of your arms, inside your shorts.

I knew from the beginning that this was going to be a grueling hike, but my hiking partner didn’t quite understand all this. It took us longer than I expected to make it to Panoramic Point, which is only 1.7 miles from the trailhead. The view was fantastic. It was a clear day so we could see(from right to left) Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. Mt. Hood is in the  middle-left and is very hard to see in the picture but it is there.
From Panoramic, we continued up the mountain. After about another hour of climbing we made Pebble Creek with is about half way there. We took a short break and then started working our way up the Muir Snowfield.

About half way up the snow field my hiking partner sits down and state “I refuse to go any further.” Needless to say I was disappointed but not surprised. She wasn’t in shape for climbing to Muir and was getting pretty sun burnt. So we turned around and headed back to Paradise.

As we were heading down, I decided that despite wearing shorts, I wanted to glissade down part of the snowfield. For those who don’t know glissading is a fancy name for sliding down on your but.

8/06/2010 11:16:00 AM

Day 71 (July 16, 2010)– Dungeness Crab for Dinner

I had today off, so I went into Puyallup with a couple of my friends for the day. I couple of weeks ago, while at Pike’s Place, I decided that I wanted a Dungeness Crab.

I walk into the grocery store to pick up my crab and the women behind the counter weights the crab and tells me it is kind of expensive as I start an internal debate. She thinks my debate is over whether to get it. My response is “it’s not a debate over whether to get one; it’s whether to get TWO.” I decided that since I was on the west coast and seldom ever get the chance to have Dungeness crab that I would splurge on two. So I had a great feast instead of the EDR mystery meat.

8/05/2010 11:16:00 PM

Day 70 (July 15, 2010)– Round Pass Finally And Lake George

You know the saying Third time’s the charm, well for me and Round Pass, the third time was the charm in making it there. The hike was fairly easy only 3.8 miles mostly uphill but a gentle uphill. It was a great feeling making it up to Round Pass finally. The main reason I wanted to make it to Round Pass so bad was to see the Marine Monument.
The Monument is to the 32 Marines that were killed in airplane crash on the mountain on December 10, 1946. The Marines are still entombed in the Tahoma Glacier located on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

After seeing the monument, I decided to hike the extra mile to Lake George. It was a steep climb, though the forest. Though on the way, I spotted this cool flower called Bear Grass.

Once on top of the ridge, I was climbing, Lake George just appeared out of the trees.

8/02/2010 06:23:00 PM

Day 69 (July 14, 2010)– Snow Lake, and a Scary Realization

Between work Breakfast shift and Dinner shift, I went hiking with one of the guys to Snow and Bench Lake. This was a short but good hike. So we drove out to the trailhead and started up this 1.6 mile trail. It was a fairly easy hike. It was uphill but not very steep. We passed though valleys of Avalanche Lilies (I will explain why they are called this in my next post, but they are a really cool flower). We passed by Bench Lake

After Bench Lake, we started to hit some snow but it was no big deal. After the snow, we made it to Snow Lake and it was amazing. We followed the trail to the point where they no longer maintain trail. Abe, the guy I was hiking with, asked me if I wanted to go around snow lake and me being me said sure. So we bushwhacked our way around the lake. About half-way around, it started to get really sketchy. At this point, I realized that if anything was to happen to me or Abe, I would NEVER be able to find another hiking partner on Mount Rainier.

Thankfully despite, a few close calls and falling though the snow once for Abe, and twice for me, we made it around Snow Lake and back to the trail.

8/01/2010 11:00:00 PM

Day 68 (July 13, 2010)– Work

Nothing new to report other than work. Though, the resident Paradise foxes now have names: Choclate Cake, Red Velvet Cake, and Vanilla Cake. One of the cooks was hungry for cake and the foxes wondered by. So she named them after cake.

8/01/2010 10:00:00 PM

Day 67 (July 12, 2010)– Ross’s Last Day

Today is a very sad day, it is Ross’s last day on the mountain. He is heading home to get the surgery on his ankle. He seems to have accepted the fact that he is leaving, but it is still a hard pill to swallow for most of us that one accident can ruin the entire rest of our summer.

8/01/2010 08:00:00 PM

Day 65 and 66 (July 10 and 11, 2010)– Work and Alumni Network

The past two days have been nothing interesting other than work, though I do love the UF alumni network they are everywhere. It seems like; I meet a fellow Gator, or see another Gator Shirt every other day at least. It is a great feeling to know how large the alumni family is and that no matter where I go there will always be fellow Gators.

8/01/2010 07:00:00 PM

Day 64 (July 9, 2010)– Hospital Visit and Serving

Once at the hospital, Ross is immediately admitted with top priority, and we get the full story about what happened. Ross was about 50 feet from the top of the ridge that we were supposed to be hiking to when he slipped and slid about 18 feet down and over a couple of small rock ledges. He then spent like 2 hours sitting then before starting to hike back. He hike back over 4 miles The ranger that found him, had gotten about 15 mins. from the trailhead when he meet Ross limping his way back.

At the hospital, we got to see the full extent of his injuries. He was bandaged up fairly bad. At that point, we left to get some sleep. After about 5 hours at the hospital, Ross is ready to go and we start back towards Mount Rainier. Ross has a broken ankle that needs surgery, 3 stitches in his elbow, and 3 stitches in his leg.

After we left the hospital, we drove back to the mountain. It sucked because most people asked us how are trip went and it was like “do I really have to tell everyone about what happened.”

At work, I got some good news, due to some scheduling changes they need me to serve dinner so I got to server rather than bus and make some real money.

8/01/2010 06:30:00 PM

Day 63 (July 8, 2010)– Tragedy in North Cascades

After making a quick stop in town, we headed up to our trailhead and started our hike. The hike was suppose to be a 4.5 mile hike with 3,200 feet of elevation gain. After about a 1.5 miles, Ross decided that Nadine and I’s pace was too slow so he went ahead and we would meet him at the ridge overlooking Hidden Lake. As we hike up, we crossed over several small creeks (remember this it is important later). After a couple of hour of hike, Nadine and I reached the point where the trail turned from trail to snow. After attempting to follow the snow path, we realized we had lost the trail and Ross’s foot prints.

Since we couldn’t go anywhere and the view was spectacular from where we were, we spent the next two hours sitting and enjoying the view waiting for Ross to realize that we were not going to meet him at the top and to hike back down.

Mount Baker

After two hours we started to get hungry so we headed down and figured Ross would catch us on the way down. As we hiked down those small creeks were now raging creek and some were difficult to cross. But alas he hadn’t by the time we got to the trailhead. I hadn’t been concerned when we started down, but once we reached the trailhead, I was getting a little more concerned about Ross, but it was possible he had lost track of time and had gotten distracted. I figured he would be down in the next hour. Another hour plus passed and still no Ross at this point the sun is going down and I am in full panic mode. Nadine and I head back up the trail and still can’t see him at this point we have about an hour and a half of daylight left so we go for help.

Since we didn’t have a cell phone, we used the local gas stations phone to call 911 and report him missing. The 911 operator does asks the usual question and tell us to wait at the gas station we are at to meet with the Sheriff’s deputy when he arrives. As we are waiting the lady at the gas station suggest going over to the Ranger Command Center and seeing if that will help. So I go to the Command Center and Nadine stays at the gas station.

At the Command Center, I go over the same info with the Ranger and Controller there. The Ranger wants to go out to the trailhead and hike up and see if he can find Ross, but the problem is that the trail starts outside the National Park so he had to get PERMISSION to go search for Ross. At that moment, I really wanted to tell them, I didn’t care about jurisdiction, I just wanted Ross found. Finally, the Ranger got permission to head up to the trailhead and they sent me back to the gas station to meet up with Nadine. We spent another hour waiting on the deputy to show up. Once he did he gave us the talk about how Ross wouldn’t freeze to death tonight and that most of the missing person either walk out by themselves or are found stuck in a dry creek bed in the morning by search and rescue. He told us that search and rescue would start looking at 4:00 am.

The deputy sent us back to our camp site “to get a good night’s sleep.” Like that was going to really happen. We decide to swing by the trailhead and check one last time and then go to our campsite. As we were heading up to the trailhead we meet the ranger coming down. Thankfully he had found Ross. Nadine hops out of my car and goes to open the Ranger door to give Ross a hug. At that point, I am torn between giving Ross an hug or hitting him. I opt for the hug when Nadine gets the door open and I see his arm has been bandaged up.

We head back to the campsite where the rangers give Ross a once over while Nadine and I pack up the tents so we can head to the hospital. The closest good hospital is over two hours away so we head there.