|Mount Walker Assault|
|Wednesday, 17 February 2010 10:26|
Grab your jackets, fill your water bottles, and take some aspirin, because climbing Walker Mountain is not a task for the faint of heart. At 2.0 miles hiking distance and with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain, this daunting mountain casts its shadow over the small towns of Brinnon and Quilcene on the Olympic Peninsula. The hike was, to put it bluntly, brutal.
Nevertheless, Venturing Crew 1042 conquered the mountain with full packs and even fuller spirits. All during the strenuous ascent, the youth and adults of the Crew smiled the entire time from the jokes and stories told along the way. The top of the mountain was truly magnificent. With the Olympics on one side, the Sound on the other, and Mount Baker off in the distance, the view was spectacular.
It was a trip to remember. Although no one really enjoyed the going-up part or the going-down part, it was an awesome and worthwhile experience.
[Ed: Mount Walker Trail #894 is a series of switchbacks that rise an average of 10-20% on the lower half of the trail and 20-25% on the upper half. Even without full packs, it can make your legs burn and have your heart and lungs pumping. The gate at the base of the mountain is closed during the winter, but you can easily park without needing a Forest Pass, and then walk about a quarter mile up the road to the trailhead, plainly marked. Don't forget to sign in (and then out) at the Ranger's kiosk at the trailhead. The tendency for hikers to start out fast on the bottom may not a good strategy, since you need to reserve energy for the top. There are benches at both overlooks where you can sit, rest, eat, and enjoy the breathtakingl views if the weather's cooperated. It is significantly cooler once you're up there, since you've been sweating and in a thick forest of firs, wild rhododendrons, and a complete groundcover of salal and Oregon grape, so take an extra layer to don once you reach the top. By the way....TAKE WATER WITH YOU. While there are pit toilets up there, there's no water and you should burn a liter per hour going up and another liter going down.]