Hikingwithmybrother.com is featured in the May Issue of Sports Northwest Magazine now out on local newsstands. Sports Northwest approached us a few months ago wanting to know if we’d be interested in writing up a little something for their magazine. We tossed some ideas back and forth before it became clear that they were looking for a bit of excitement to catch their reader’s attention. We had just the story for them which we'll reprint here:
Hiking is usually a fairly tame sport, especially when you’re prepared. So we felt pretty safe on our descent down from the summit of Mt. Rainier – roped in with a professional guide, geared up to the nines in high-tech, waterproof, wind-resistant body armor, flush with the confidence that we’d left the difficult portion of our journey up on Columbia Crest.
Halfway down Disappointment Cleaver, we ran into an inexperienced group trudging down the ridge. Perhaps it was the way they traversed too closely together to benefit from being roped in, or their haphazard play with their ice axes – or even just their unhurried pace – that was so unnerving, but we were happy to get by when they flopped down for a break. Relieved, we quickly pushed past, only to hear the awful sound of earth breaking loose as they inadvertently sent a chair-sized boulder careening down the mountain.
In the face of falling rock, they tell you to stay calm and wait for it to get closer before dodging. This is because divots and protrusions covering the ground can send projectiles in unpredictable directions. The advice is easy enough to remember, but very difficult to execute when you’re staring down a few hundred pounds of moving stone.
Our guide barked orders. We held. But when it came time to jump, Jer and I went in different directions, leaving the rope in the path of the rock. Adrenaline transformed seconds into vast expanses of time, allowing me to completely panic and yet still recover sufficiently to grab the rope with our guide and heave Jer to our side. Despite his 40-pound pack and crampons, Jer was somehow able to leap a few feet in the air, his trailing foot touching off the bounder as it rumbled past.
We hike once a week these days, plowing though snow drifts, battling up extreme inclines, and bush-whacking down barely maintained paths – just a little bit wiser every time. Because no matter how good your gear is, it’s experience that’ll pull you through.
A big thanks to Sports Northwest for reaching out to us and sharing what we do here at hikingwithmybrother.com with their readership. Check out their site or pick up an issue to see what else they’ve put together for you. - Nathan
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