Monday, July 27, 2009

summit report

Eight things I learned hiking Mt. Monadnock:

1) That sh^t is hard! At least half of the "trail" is over bald rock faces that don't look like anyone is supposed to "hike" them. And yet, there are people all around you who are managing to do it. Many of them will be children. And they will make you feel very, very old and sweaty.

2) Speaking of which, if you are a sweater (i.e. a person who sweats a lot--not a woolen item), do not wear yoga pants to hike a mountain. The accumulated sweat will make you look like you have a massive incontinence problem.

3) If your friend Mary forgets to pack a lunch and you have to stop at McDonald's on the way, don't worry. You will still encounter people hiking the mountain who are far less "hike-y" than you. For instance, the camper who clearly never learned to tie his shoes. Or the dudes who have to take a cigarette-and-chips break just 1/4 mile into the hike.

4) You will definitely be passed (sometimes, repeatedly) by people who are far more "hike-y" than you. If, in the course of your hike, one particular woman passes you FOUR TIMES on her way up and down from the summit, do not become alarmed. You should probably ask for her autograph, because she must be training to climb Everest. Please, please let her be training to climb Everest. Otherwise, she's just a weirdo with some sort of exercise addiction.

5) If you pass a group of girl scouts on their way back down from the summit, they will lie. Especially when they say "you're mostly past the hard part." That one was a total lie.

6) You will definitely have moments where you think you're going to fall off the face of the mountain. I believe I shouted "aaaaaah, I don't know where to put my feet! helppppppp!" more than once.

7) Once you reach the summit and begin heading back down, you can make up all kinds of stuff to tell the people you pass on their way up, like "turn back now! save yourself!!!" or "Oh, yeah, you're totally almost there."

8) If you pick a really cloudy day to climb the mountain and end up in a fog bank at the summit (pictured above), you might think "Oh, we'll just have to come back and hike it again on a sunny day." This is just the altitude talking.


Rebecca from Maizie. said...

HA! What a humorous post! I should've mentioned in my comment on your last hiking post that you would need "scaling gear" for parts of the Monadnock climb. Pretty wild, isn't it? Thanks for sharing the photos- I look forward to hearing about your next hiking expedetion.

Cait* said...

Even though you helped to concrete my lingering notion that hiking, although able to get one 'in touch' with nature, is a sweaty (I am a sweater) demoralizing venture. Still, you have quite possibly subconciously used reverse psychology on me to make me want to go for a hike. Hell, I live in CT, I might as well.

Clementine said...

Perhaps you could think of the excessive, embarrassing sweating as a sort of cleansing ritual? On my hike today I was literally dripped onto the stones as I climbed. It was frickin' huuuuumid.

But you totally have to try it. There's a bunch of places to hike in that corner where NY, CT and MA meet. You could sweat in three states! :)

cindy said...

you are great fun! i really enjoy reading about hiking from my bedroom. that's really bad and not good for my heart. i will hike up and down the subways steps a few times extra, today!

oh boy, my word verification is 'counted'!