Trip 5 – Crest Mountain (1584M ) and King’s Peak (2065M) – (Sep 10- 12)
This was our final alpine trip of the summer and I wanted to get in the max amount of training for Nepal. For this final trip I requested more than one peak and to not have to carry in our packs as I will have a porter in Nepal and so did not need that aspect of training. We left Victoria early on the Friday morning and went straight to Crest Mountain, starting our ascent around 11AM. This was a short, 5 hour hike but with a steep elevation gain. The day was a little overcast but mild and we had nice views of King’s Peak from the look out on the way up. The summit is reached after a traverse across the top, which had a lake and some friendly kingfishers (my new favorite bird). Over all this isn’t the most exciting hike, but it was definitely good training, which harshly reminded that my knees do not like steep declines. I will be bringing lots of Aleve and a knee brace to Nepal!
We knew we wanted an early start the next day, so we went to bed early and both being early risers, we planned to get up when the first person woke up. I made W take off his watch so that I could check the time in the morning. At some point, having to pee, I checked the watch and saw that it was 6AM, so it was time to get up. Being that it was fall, we knew it would be dark, but we were surprised that there were still stars in the sky. We didn’t really feel like being up, so we went back to bed for what we thought would be another hour. Thankfully W looked at his watch and discovered it was midnight, not 6AM. Whoops! Good thing we didn’t get up and ready.
We were up and at the trailhead by 8:30. The lower part of the trail is well built and maintained which made the ascent to the North Bowl camping area quite pleasant. We passed some lovely waterfalls and streams, so we didn’t have to carry a ton of water. Most people do King’s Peak over 2 days, but I wanted to see what it felt like to hike over 8 hours in a day, so we carried on. When we first got site of the mountain, I was disappointed to learn that the one in the foreground was not ours, nope that was the Queens Face, ours was the big one behind it. There was a scramble-y gully to get up and then we were on the ridge. It took about another hour to get to the summit.
Wow, what a view. The weather was perfect and we were the only ones up there. It was about 5 hours up and we knew it would be about that long to get down, so we had a snack, signed the register, and went on our way. We had seen some chanterelles and chicken of the woods on the way up, so we grabbed those on the way down and had a gourmet dinner back at camp. Including breaks and mushroom picking, it was a 10-hour day. My knees were not happy, but thankfully I had brought some Aleve and Ibuprofin.
The next day we were going to do Flower Ridge, but W said it would at least be an 8 hour day and we needed to get back to Victoria the same day too. We opted for some small walks to look for mushrooms instead.