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Bandera and Little Si

Been too busy railing against The Man to post about this, but I went on a great hike this weekend with R and J. On Saturday, we summitted* Bandera Mountain (5157'). The cool thing about this hike was just how beautiful it is. Instead of hiking up through varying densities of old and new growth forest like most of the other trails in the area, Bandera takes you up through alpine meadow and rock fields. We were able to finish the hike pretty quickly, and get back into civilization for a friend's graduation party later that night, not to mention just general relaxing on a weekend, which is something that we've been going without for a while because of these training hikes. R took some pictures and hopefully he'll share them, but I was again reluctant to bring the Nikon with me as the weather was a little wet. I promise, though... I will start taking pictures of these hikes even if it means taking them on my crappy old Canon PowerShot.

Yesterday, J and I did a quick hike in the evening. I'm almost embarassed to say that we did Little Si as part of any serious training for Rainier, but I think the fact that we made the ascent in only 45 minutes makes up for that a little bit. We've both done this hike a bunch of times, but this was the first time this year (though we did try to do it last week but did half of Big Si instead when we found search and rescue at the trailhead... they were extricating a rock climber who had fallen). We found ourselves in much better shape than any of the other times we've done this fun little hike. It's definitely a good sign that we can laugh off a 1200' gain over about 2 miles in 45 minutes.

Note that the links now go to PDF files of National Geographic TOPO! maps, with the elevation profile at the bottom. These are based on the 7.5' USGS maps, so you get a lot more detail than the software I was using before. Still, I'm going to stand by the earlier disclaimer about not using them for real navigation and my not being responisble for anything you do, period. Note that the Little Si GPS track is the reverse track, since I seemed to get better signals on the descent, so the track looks a little closer to what we actually did. Of course, this means that the elevation profile is reversed as well.

* Now for the asterisk on Bandera Mountain. As you can see on the map, we made it to what appears to be a false summit at 5157', and the true summit appears to be another half mile to the East, and some hundred or so feet higher. However, we were following an established trail on this hike, and the trail ends where we stopped. So that's why I put an asterisk on that, while claiming that we "summitted" the mountain. It would have involved trampling a lot of underbrush to continue, so we didn't.


GPS, schmeePS.

We want pictures!

I like how the profile for Bandera Mtn. doesn't really show how that one alpine meadow tries to kick one's ass. That is such a beautiful trail, for sure.