One of my pals just bought a new Subaru Outback. Naturally when one buys an adventure mobile such as this, adventure is put onto the radar almost immediately. I was happy to oblige when she asked me to go for a hike with her, and we had plans to go for a mild, chill elevation hike last week just to get the feet moving.
Then the tables turned and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the outcome.
I have been craving, longing for, pining and whining to get my feet onto an epic hike all summer, and I finally did just that. I haven’t always been the best at last minute changes to a plan, I like to have an idea of what I need to prepare for, but as I have gotten older I have been working on morphing more into a human like flubber so that I can bend and roll with what’s thrown my way.
A work in progress, but a progress nonetheless.
A group of pals from work had a hike in the works, and when they asked me to join I didn’t think twice. It helped that I was in the peak energy and social phase of my cycle (ladies, I cannot stress enough tracking your cycle and knowing how your body works throughout the entirety of it!) We planned to meet at 0600 for an early start at the Hurricane Ridge location of Olympic National Park.
This area fills up quick on weekends, so an early start is a must.
Our plan was to hike Mount Angeles, a new to me trail with recent bear sightings and a scramble at the summit. What could possibly go wrong? Fortunately for us nothing went wrong, and the trail was mosey and mild for the first couple miles, allowing the entire group to stick together. When we started the hike we could see our destination at the end, although in the beginning I had no idea the curved peak was our summit.
There were six of us total, and we kept a nice pace walking along chatting about the awe and wonder around us, the possibility of wildlife sightings, and the amount of sunscreen our pal Chris had accidentally put on. His entire body looked like the face of a mime. At least he would not be getting burned. We eventually came to a fork where the left had a drastically steep start, and we were not sure if it was the correct path despite the map telling us it was.
So we went right instead.
After ten minutes of going down, down, down, we realized we had gone onto a different path heading to a different destination, and four out of six of us decided we wanted to go back and try the path to the left. We headed back to the fork, waved goodbye to the other two, while four remaining hikers trekked on into the wilderness, hopeful for new sights, sounds, and smells.
I had the idea of a “scramble” in my head, but I wasn’t sure what exactly that entailed. The four of us slowly made our way up the mountain and it was certainly more steep than the first half of the hike, but nothing was unmanageable. We took it slow and only one person passed us coming down. I asked if he made it up the scramble and he said yes.
He advised to keep to the left, that it was longer but easier, and while I appreciated the input I didn’t anticipate I would be crawling up a rock wall.
The closer we got the more we realized the landscape difference between what we had been hiking and what must be the scramble portion of the trail. We all decided then that we would hike to just below the scramble and call it. We made it to a beautiful open meadow where two of the girls stopped, but I had to touch the trees at the very base of the scramble.
I had to go the final 100 ft before I no longer felt comfortable.
As I sat at my chosen summit, the other two decided to join and we all savored the views before turning back to the parking lot. The summit provides a panoramic view of the entire range around us, but I was happy with the views we had. The climb was a little too vertical for me with no designated path. Maybe one day I will enjoy the idea of a scramble. I would be fine crawling up, it’s the coming back down that scares me.
After admiring some local marmots, we made our way back to the fork where we hoped to find the other two members of our party. Turns out our hour and a half detour was a bit longer than everyone expected and the other two made their way back to the parking lot. The views from the lot were just as awe inspiring meaning everyone left happy that day. This hike was just what I needed to bring my soul to life, even if just for a few hours.
I’m thankful for good friends with a zest for life, and I cannot wait for more adventures in my friends new Subaru.
Q: Would you crawl up the scramble?
27 thoughts on “Mount Angeles”
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I have reblogged your article on my blog. Hope you don’t mind. Very inspirational, beautiful views.
I’m glad you enjoyed your hike Brittany & that you made it back alright! 🙏😁 Love this line you wrote about being more flexible: ” I have been working on morphing more into a human like flubber so that I can bend and roll with what’s thrown my way.”
Bahaha very visual, right?
Very visual, haha! But I liked it all the same! 👍😛😂
I wish I had more friends that liked hiking! This sounds like it was an awesome adventure!!
I would love to come hike in Italy with youuu!
Rock scrambles are not for me. I did Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. It’s rock scramble is pretty hard, at one point involving shimmying feet off the ground between 2 rock faces. Thankfully the descent involved nothing more than a gore road
You lost me at shimmying feet off the ground. Nooo thank you.
Your photos are beautiful! I climbed Mt. Ellinor solo a few years ago, I’ve never worked so hard nor been so proud and awestruck all at once. Well done!
Well done! I attempted Ellinor once in snow with fog and limited visibility. I decided it was not worth it to press on. I still have yet to summit!
Thistles and Kiwis
Looks so beautiful! I know I couldn’t do a scramble…
I’m right there with you! Especially when the views are just as beautiful from safer ground. 🤪
Scrambling. It’s the bridge between hiking (on trail), and climbing/mountaineering. Ropes are not generally used except a fixed line to protect a downclimb. Involves some off-trail travel, typically to achieve a peak or ridge destination. Depending on the level of difficulty, a fall can be anything from very hurt, seriously hurt, or the unthinkable. Knowing ones limit is important, and you found your “summit” which ultimately, what it’s all about. Having fun, and being able to tell your story. Good job and great story!
I love this breakdown, I think if there were a rope I’d be more inclined. I’m also quite content always finding my personal summit before a true summit. 🤪
This sounds wonderful. I have not done many hikes that include a scramble, but the time I did it really freaked me out! I kept thinking I was somehow going to go flying into the abyss, even though my husband told me not to worry. A couple years later I read this section of Dharma Bums which reminded me so much of that day:
Thanks for sharing this article, and I commend you for trying the scramble!
As soon as I read “scramble,” it brought back SO many fond memories from my childhood. On our camping summer vacations in South Lake Tahoe, we loved hiking the Cascade Falls trail. It went high around the lake, and we almost always extended it past the falls so our hike ended in a scramble, which my brother and I LOVED. Climbing up those rocks and boulders with no marked trail was so fun when we were young! But… Let’s just say I was WAY more fearless back then than I am now. 😉
So glad you had a great time and such stunning views! It looks like such a great hike!!
I can totally see you and your brother scrambling together. You little goats, you. There is a mountain in Germany that is absolutely terrifying to come down, in fact it is the tallest mountain in the country, but there is a Bahn at the top. So people will hike up it (sometimes taking two days), and then ride the Bahn back down. Well deserved. I never got around to hiking this one, but maybe one day!
Another fun adventure you two can share together. Sounds like great memories.
We all had a blast!
Total epic hike! I am impressed! Also, I am super interested in tracking my cycle and learning how it aligns with social activity, etc. Where did you start?! Tell me more!
Yaassss. I became obsessed with tracking my cycle when I was trying to learn more about my hormones and how they affected my mood/energy.
Google has a lot of good basic info as far as articles on what the different phases are (follicular is like your power stage – this starts when you start your period and lingers for 2 ish weeks and your energy builds and builds from there, then we ovulate, then we hit into the luteal phase which is the pre period phase and energy plummets and social desires do too. This is the “PMS” phase.) Even just reading about the different phases and seeing common moods and why the moods change are so fascinating.
I use a period tracker app called Flow, and this just allows me to put each period into the app and over time it adjusts to give you an idea of when your next cycle will start, and it’s been very accurate for me give or take a day or two. I then also just recently got an app called Hormonology, and it’s like your horoscope for the day with your hormones. You put your cycle length into the app (which becomes easier to discover after you track a few periods) and then it tells you what you might expect to feel those days. It’s the same each month, so I read them everyday for a full month, and now I just check in when I am feeling moody to affirm myself haha. Sometimes I read them to Duncan too so he can have some extra grace with me. Both apps are free.
All this to say, I used to beat myself up when my energy was low or when I felt crummy, and I would even at times blame it on something I ate, but this has been helpful for me to feel confident in planning bigger hikes or activities I know take a lot of effort around my cycle. I am less likely to commit to a big hike during my luteal phase. Same goes for social stuff, I know when I will likely want more alone time. LOL.
There are even books out there on best foods to eat depending on where you are in your cycle to help support your hormones, but I will spare you that for now! I hope this was helpful.
“I would be fine crawling up, it’s the coming back down that scares me.” This! 100%. I’ve got myself in a couple of sticky situations this summer with scrambles, and it’s always on the descent.
Anytime I’m going up a sketchy area my anxiety skyrockets thinking about having to come back down. If I could just fly down there are so many more summits I would climb! 😂
Now that would open up SO many more options! 😀