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Day Hike - Big Creek Loop

Probably a great hike on your own. Don't go with this group if you want to enjoy it.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Big Creek Loop Hike, 5/12/18

    My experience of the hike

    1) I was at Haggen's to meet the group early. I didn't see anyone.
    I waited until about 7:50, we were to leave at 8 am, and then began driving around the parking lot.
    Eventually I got a call from the assistant hike leader asking if I was there and she specified that the group was near the Pier One imports side of the lot.
    Apparently this is the usual meeting spot? Everyone else was already there and knew each other. I was clearly the only new hiker.

    2) We arrived at the hike and the assistant leader elected to hike up the steepest part of the trail first. I was at a disadvantage since everyone else
    had already hiked the trail at least once. I came to find out later that the other trail head, the one we ended on, is a much more gradual climb and much easier to manage.
    The assistant leader said she wanted to get the difficult part of the climb "over with quickly"!!!

    3) At about the halfway mark I was told that we weren't actually doing a 900 feet elevation and 4-5 mile climb, and that we were actually doing a 1700 foot elevation climb
    and over 7 miles. I was not prepared, did not have hiking poles, and had not trained enough to accomplish this hike without a lot of struggle and pain.

    4) I later found out that the hike leader extends the hike regularly to "break in" new hikers.

    I walk daily and exercise about an hour a day 5 days a week, without being extremely sore. However, the day after the hike I was unable to walk. I had to cancel my plans.
    I was the only newcomer on the hike. While some were signed up for the conditioning hiking series, this was not a new hike for any of them, nor were any
    new to hiking in the Cascades in general. Also, everyone knows each other and they meet regularly outside of the Mountaineers group.

    I feel I was used to make others in the group feel better about themselves. I won't be hiking with the Mountaineers again. I wanted to hike with a friendly
    supportive group, on an easy hike and enjoy nature and possibly meet some other new hikers. It appears this is not going to happen.
    My time and health are very valuable and I can't afford to have an unpleasant Saturday or have to recover over a period of days afterwards.
    Now I know why 50% of hikers drop out of the Conditioning Hiking series.


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Mark Crosson
Mark Crosson says:
May 18, 2018 09:45 PM

I am very sorry that you had a difficult hike. I believe that your experience was an exception. My experience has been that most hike descriptions are accurate and that any proposed changes are approved unanimously by the group. I hope to see you on a future Mountaineers hike. Best Regards...