Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dad's A-Z: M is for Mountain Climbing

It was a beautiful day in Seattle on Sunday, so we decided to go "Mountain Climbing".

Headed to the top.

Sure, for all intents and purposes we actually went on a day hike, but it was a pretty intense hike for a 4 year old (not to mention his parents) being about 4 1/2 miles, with a 1200 foot elevation gain.   Plus, we hiked to the top of aptly named Mt. Si, in the foothills of the Cascades outside of I am calling it mountain climbing.   You don't have a problem with that, right?

Anyway, this was our first time climbing Mt Si, so we didn't know quite what to expect.  This trail is a little brother to the more famous Mount Si trail which gains a pretty strenuous 3200 feet of elevation during the 8 mile hike.  I can only imagine how difficult that would be to summit with a kid Lukas' age.  That's because this one was a bit tougher than we expected.

Mount Si.
It wasn't impossible by any means though, as Lukas never complained a bit on the way to the top, or on the way back down.  Overall, with time to lunch on top, it was about a 4 1/2 hour round trip.

"You're almost there!"

This trail was a definite step up for Lukas, as the previous longest hike Mrs. LIAYF and I had taken him on was a fairly flat 3 mile round trip to Cranberry Lake on Camano Island north of Seattle.  I have to say, we were both very impressed with how he handled himself with all the climbing, especially through steep, slippery, and muddy spots.

It took us about 2 hours to climb to the summit, and after about the first hour we met quite a few people on the trail who were also impressed with Lukas' ability.  They would say "You're almost there."  Of course we heard that several times during the next hour. We started to think they were feeding us a line.

 Lukas was easily the youngest hiker we encountered doing the hike all by himself. 

When we did finally make it to the top, we were treated with some pretty amazing views of the valley below, and of Hawks circling several hundred feet down.  We also had a great picnic lunch overlooking a steep bluff, and met several chipmunks darting about.

Lukas on top of Little Si.

After that, it was time to head back down.  And, despite falling a couple of times and scrapping his knee and getting gouged in the neck with a walking stick, Lukas kept in very good spirits.

If fact, every time he saw a group of people coming up the trail - even when we were almost to the bottom - he had to say hello, before giving them some much needed reassurance.

With a big smile, he would tell them.  "You're almost there!"


Beau said...

He sounds like a great hiker, especially with his motivational message for the upward bound hikers.

Kids seem to love their walking sticks.

Denny Creek is also a great place to take kids, especially when its hot. Its not as long or as steep, but there is a cool spot where the creek comes right over some large flat rocks that the kids can play in. My older kids aren't that into hiking but thats an acceptable place in their opinion.

Hey Monkey Butt said...

Beautiful pictures. My 8 year old whines and complains every time we set foot on a trail for hiking... Ugh! way to brave it up Lukus!

Clint said...

Way to go Lukas. It looks like that it was a great expedition. I will say that I hope to go mountain climbing sometime in my life, but WI has a lack of mountains.:))