Posted by: hagengreen | May 27, 2010

Fighting gravity with weight and speed

On Tuesday, after work, I went out to meet my Mt Rainer team for a training session near North Bend. Well, not so much of a training session but more of a time trial. The mission: start at the bottom of Mt Si (Big Si, not Little) trailhead and get to the top clearing as fast as possible… with 40 lbs on your back. I weighed out a large number of books that added up to 40 lbs, although they wouldn’t all fit into my pack. So I ended up improving by collecting rocks into a bag that I put into my pack. With a scale on hand, I weighed myself with and without the pack to get a precise measurement. Bingo.

I started out a bit fast, but eventually settled into my pace. Within 10 minutes I caught up with Rob and David who started a few minutes before me. David was moving at a good clip, so I paced with him. At around mile 2, he asked me to lead. I picked up the pace and ended up dropping him within 10 minutes. Once I saw the mile 3 sign, I put the hammer down: running on anything remotely flat and even small grades. I forgot there’s a very steep grade within a few minutes of the end which was the worst part for me. I clocked in at 1:11:05. Then I scrambled up the rocks and ran up to the base of the haystack scramble for bonus points – getting there at 1:14:00 flat total time. I bundled up and waited for the rest to show up. The next folks up were Bram and David – coming in 2nd, Bram’s time was 1:16.

Thankfully I could unload my stones at the top before heading down!


Mount Si is located in North Bend, Washington (USA).  The climb is 4,167 feet (1,270 meters) and 4 miles from the parking lot to the summit plateau. Vertical elevation change is about 3700 feet and starts at about 700 feet. The route meanders through several different ecosystems as temperatures and average rainfall vary with elevation.


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