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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)

Sunny, cool day, clear skies, great views. Trail a stream in places but no snow. Helped non-member hiker descend.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail wet in places, i.e, you’re walking in 1 – 2” water, but didn’t seem AS WET as described in this WTA report from the day before https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-10-26.7688807314. Also, zero snow on the trail and very little at all visible near trail.

    Cairn for trail turn-off was there in the morning but in the afternoon, the rocks had been knocked down. I replaced the cairn. Even without the cairn, trail would be hard to miss now because its entrance is marked by one of the numerous “lost dog” signs we saw in the parking area and on the trail.

    Considering a close-in hike, sunny weekend, and no snow on trail, remarkably uncrowded. 

Mt. Washington 10/2719

Bright sunny day, though chilly even in the sun, despite the light wine. Again I appreciated how for a close-in hike, Mt. Washington is remarkably uncrowded for a sunny weekend. From the top we not only saw Mt. Rainier but west to the Olympics, presumably The Brothers. Trail robber jays at summit persistently dive-bombed for our lunches. One of us described them as “stalking.”

A great group of 6 experienced hikers – 5 members and 1 guest. Our total time was almost 7 hours – slower than expected. Two reasons:

On the ascent, variation in group members’ fitness and stamina. The faster hikers were WONDERFUL for the patience they displayed, not just stopping at junctions and stream crossings as I’d requested but also at many sunny viewpoints.

On the descent, not only the same variation in participants’ hiking speed but also we picked up a 7th group member. Just below the summit, we encountered a young man solo hiker, R, experiencing severe leg cramps. We’d seen him descend from the summit some time before us, but he told us that he’d had to stop in the cold shade after descending just a few minutes from the summit, due to not being able to hike further. A group member who was one of the first to talk with him took charge and we all pitched in to offer electrolytes, water, food, salt tablets, and biofreeze gel. We stayed with R until he felt ready to hike. He agreed to hike with us and seemed grateful for the support. We loaned him 2 poles and one of us carried R’s pack as well as their own. We took rests and descended with a pace that suited R to trailhead parking lot. We offered to drive him home but he said he was OK and able to drive.

Talking with R, we guessed that not drinking enough water before and during his ascent (though he did have over .5 L when we encountered him), lack of electrolytes, and partying the night before were all likely factors in the cramps he experienced. R said he’d had this sort of leg cramp one time before.

We let one member of our group manage much of the conversation with R, so he wasn't overwhelmed with 6 people all barraging him with questions and concerns, but we did all pitch in to help. We showed concern but we didn't hover over him the whole way down. We did carry his pack, let him use our poles, and made sure he had adequate water etc. the entire descent, and we went at a pace with which he was comfortable. We were concerned and helpful, but also low-key. 

 

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