Before I go on any major hike or backpacking trip, I do a little internet research about the trail and try to gauge the difficulty to mentally prep myself. After the trip, if I come across someone that did the same hike, I like exchanging notes with them. As difficulty ramps up, especially after crossing over to mountaineering territory, instead of feeling like I’m decently fit compared to others doing the same sport, I’m suddenly at the bottom of the bell curve.
Other people’s trip report of read like: We practiced river dancing steps up this so called steep section because it wasn’t steep at all and our heart-rate dropped to near flatlining while hiking it. We had to stop eating at all because we were gaining calories from practically doing zero exercise. The boulder section was embarrassingly easy, so to add some sense of challenge, we decided to do a one-legged race up the mountain. Our girlfriend, Kiki, who weighed 90lbs soaking wet, complained that her 50lbs pack was too light so we gave her both ropes to carry, even that was no challenge, so she added a boulder the size of a large human torso to her pack. Round trip took us 18 hours, with most of it spent trying to get the perfect lighting for our photos.
My trip report: Slipped on wet roots on super steep section, almost died. Clawed my way up a sheer rock face, almost passed out from excessive blood loss from cuts. Heart nearly exploded from over-exertion on second half of the climb up. Forded two rivers poorly, slipped and almost drowned twice. Wind knocked me over with my 50lbs pack crushing my soul and fracturing three ribs. Nearly lost my grip multiple times doing the class 3 scramble and wondered how the boyfriend would deal if I didn’t make it home for dinner ever. Round trip took us 4 days, with most of it spent crying for my mommy.
I often wonder when I’m reading other people’s trip report if perhaps they did a different hike altogether, but I recognize the location from their photos. I feel like a big wimp, but I still enjoy every moment of my trip. Except for the part where I wondered if I would make it home for dinner with the boyfriend. Just the thought of missing out on a good steak dinner makes me cry.