Sunday, September 21, 2014


My legs are some hybrid version of silly puddy and play dough as I sit writing this.  BUT.
I did it.  I finally conquered Barometer Mountain!  What a mother of a hike.  Here's some perspective:

This is about a quarter of the way up

I think I read somewhere that Barometer is Kodiak's 3rd highest peak, but don't quote me on that one.  Regardless - this was hands down the most difficult hike I've undertaken since moving up to the Great White North.  Most difficult hike I've ever undertaken, actually.  Meanwhile...this was the hubby's fourth time hiking it.  Fourth!  Just further proof that he's on a different fitness plane than I am.  With his triathlons and marathons and grand goal of doing the Iron Man at some point in his life.  Different fitness plane!  But, I love that we can do things like this together.

You've gotta love the sign at the trail head.  It's all dire and serious with its talk of 60 degree climbing angles, fatality warnings, and strong recommendations regarding bear deterrents.  So, it's a high level climb.  Understood.

Although, the two crucifix memorials we passed on our way up were ominous.  My thought process as we hiked past the memorials was, yes people have died hiking this, but don't let that rattle you. - Keep on keepin' on!  The major difference between the unfortunate fatalities and us is that they hiked it in winter.  This mountain is a very different animal to even consider hiking in the winter.  I certainly wouldn't.  I'm not particularly interested in hiking anything that requires ice cleats or axes to do it.  So I guess all my aspirations to be a Patagonia catalog trail model are hereby dashed.

My short lived hiking poles, Bobby and the Mountain Dog
The Cheet assumed his usual mountain dog persona on our hike, and I have to say it's seriously impressive to watch him maneuver his way up.  He's so sure footed, and your best bet is to follow his route because he always finds the best way up. 

I used my climbing poles for the first time on this hike, but I couldn't decide whether they were helpful or just cumbersome.  Probably a combination of both.  It didn't matter though, because the poles were no match for Barometer.  Hubby was using them on the way down and one of the poles bent right in half. So, first and last time with that accessory!  I don't think I'll miss them that much.

I was definitely chanting my mantra on our way up. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.  The last little scramble before the top seemed never ending and I kept asking myself how the hell are we still not at the top yet?  

I decided that the best motivator would be knowing that an icy cold beer in a frosty mug would greet me at the top. I'll tell you what though, when I did finally get to the top I let out one hell of a woooooo.  Feeling accomplished doesn't begin to cover it.  As I might have mentioned, it's a mother of a climb, and I've wanted to do it for as long as we've been here.  But honestly, the reality of the hike still wasn't as bad as I made it out to be in my mind.  I've found that if I'm dreading something or building an event up in my mind to monumental proportions, the anticipation usually turns out worse than the actual experience, it seems.

At the top!  And high enough to be in the clouds

Gorgeous, sunny day Kodiak.  The best kind of Kodiak.

Pug Dog needed a rest!

Once we sat down to rest and eat our pb&j lunches at the top, the clouds started rolling in - but it didn't last long, so we were able to get some nice pictures of the spectacular view from up there.  2,500 foot elevation, to be exact. When all was said and done, according to the hubby's fancy hiking app - we hiked about 4.5 miles in about 4 hours, and burned close to 2,000 calories.  Niiiice.

A little perspective for the way down

Yet another memorable experience in Kodiak.  I'll tell that to my legs as I hobble around tomorrow! 

Ta-ta for now.

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