Thursday, September 3, 2009

Wonderland here I come

Hi! Will here!

Once again, it's time for the annual adventure hike. This year I'm taking off to hike the Wonderland Trail - a 95 mile trail that circles Mt. Rainier. This is probably the most popular multi-day backpacking trail in the North West. I'm excited to try it out. I can't believe we have lived here for 4 years and I have yet to set foot on the trail.

Jenni has so graciously given me the time to go experience this as she battles being a temporary single mom to what is currently a little monster of a toddler.

Most people do the looped trail in about 10-14 days. I didn't ask Jenni for that amount of time cause I already know the answer and cause I need to be job hunting. So, I'll be starting on Friday morning and hope to be done Sunday morning at the latest in time for church.

The trail consists of over 22,000 vertical climb and 22,000 vertical descent. This is due to going up and down each ripple of a ridge as you circle the big volcano. This is like climbing to the top of the Empire state building and back down again 20 times. Or starting 10,000 feet BELOW Everest Base Camp and climbing up to base camp then climbing the remaining 12,000 feet to the top of Everest and all the way back down again (of course in weather that is much warmer and actually having oxygen to breath lol).

I'm also traveling in unsupported fashion bringing everything I need with me and carrying it with me the whole time, instead of leaving food and gear at several checkpoints and picking it up as I come through. Because of this, I still have a pretty heavy pack weighing close to 25lbs, but I should be prepared for any emergencies.

If I'm able to survive the whole trip around, I will be setting a speed record for the fastest unsupported time around the trail. Some one attempted two weeks ago, but wasn't able to make it all the way around and another speedy guy is flying in from the East coast this weekend as well to attempt the same thing.

I'll be bringing my Spot GPS with me so you can follow along and watch me as I go loop around the mountain. Just click here:

I would recommend clicking on the "terrain", "satellite" or "hybrid" tab in the upper right hand corner to get a better view. There is a good chance that it could go hours without updating as I will be down in the trees most of the time, so you'll have to be patient.

At the top is a map of the loop and an elevation chart. On the elevation chart, I included my best guess time of when/where I should be at 5 mile intervals on the top of the chart (click the images to enlarge). Those are times listed up top. It is a range of times and you will notice as the miles get further the range gets wider. You'll be able to follow along and see if I am ahead of schedule, behind schedule or within my expected times.

Wish me luck!

P.S. Did I mention it is supposed to rain the whole time? yuck!


Annalea said...

Run safe. :o) Can't wait to see the photos!

Roemhildt Family Fun said...

I think you are crazy. That sounds like fun. Good luck and we'll be watching you. Hopefully it won't rain the entire time.

Spencer and Celeste said...

Good luck Will! If you do this every year (an adventure hike), I'll have to try and tag along someday. Keep it safe, and keep it moving!

Dan Thomas said...

Will make sure you have fun and take lots of pictures. We will follow you.

Jenni said...

I love you babe. Good luck :)

Sandy said...

I know you'll be careful, but I'm your mom and I have to say it anyway. Be careful! We'll be watching and wishing we were younger and in as good of shape as you are. Go for it!!

edu said...

I'll be following your progress! Sounds like a great weekend plan. Have fun and, most important, hike safe!


Daniel L.Thomas said...

Just not to repeat the other's concern about your safety, I hope you see lots of bears, run along the edge of many cliffs and that at one point get completly disoriented and start running in to the woods. Just of luck and you amaze us all. If I had an ounce of the endurance you do I would stop circling the parking lot waiting for the spot closest to the door to open up. Be safe! Run hard! and Don't feed the bears!

Carolyn said...

I hope you are taking someone with you this time Will! Good luck and be careful.....Ron and I traveled part of the Wonderland Trail in the dark....the tree roots are treacherous on the trail when you can't see them! We sang Primary songs at night to let the bears know we were coming!

Suguturaga's said...

We watched you on GPS. I was just tired typing in on the keyboard. You are amazing. What in the world is up with all my super fabulous family members and their spouses.