Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Munra Point Hike

This Saturday event was a hike called Munra Point, and it was...steep. Call it a scramble with a wee bit of non-technical climbing.

I've coined a new term: Slackpacker's Speedball. It's that huge whacking rush of adrenaline layered on top of a gooey base layer of endorphins. Better than a regular speedball because it's all natural and probably won't kill you.

What you are DOING might kill you, but you won't OD or anything.

I got my first big hit of this mix as I came up the ridge on Munra Point, and I think I may already be a junkie...

Loni threw in the towel from vertigo at the 2/3 mark. She wanted to wait for me to summit, so I booked ass up the hill. I wanted to get to the top so I could get back down to where she was - but I had thought I was much closer to the top than I actually was. I cranked up the ridge for 20 minutes at about top hiking speed until my body basically was all done in. Out of breath, out of calories, and all the endorphins from exertion made me even more shaky and woozy. My body was exhausted and weak, and then I saw the drops on either side. My tiny little brain couldn't process keeping me upright and the gigantic drops on either side. My adrenals kicked in and I just about vomited from all the raw adrenaline punching me in the kidneys and spine. I had to climb the last little knob like a spider, both hands and feet. The plan was just to take some pictures and get down as fast as I could. Once I'd calmed down a few minutes, I was able to stand up on the knob and not get freaked out. I think the chemicals were making my senses lie to me somehow, because I didn't even use my hands when I came down from the knob. Vertigo is a fucker, for sure.

If you go, lace up tight for the downhill. Also, some thick & tough pants would be a good idea. If you fall, you are going to slide (and slide, and scream, and maybe die or become seriously injured...) and you don't want your legs to be all scratched up when they pull your ruined body from the bottom of the canyon. Seriously, it's not that tough, just steep. I could see this being a really nice trail with a little work (some switchbacks, maybe?) but then more people would do it and I'd have to hip-check them off the trail because they'd be those fucking weekender townies out for a little adventure. Wait, that almost sounds like...never mind.

Well, this is the price we pay for being slackpackers. Keep it steep, rough, heinously rocky with tons of nettles, spiders, snakes, ticks, bears, cats, poison oak, brambles, and cliffs. Some wildflowers and mushrooms are nice too, but don't put them where stupid average peeps can see them, because they'll just get picked and kicked, respectively.

One last bit of advice for those who want to tackle this little hill. Don't hike across from the Yeon trailhead. It's stupid having to listen to the traffic on I84 any more than you absolutely have to. Park under the bridge (coming back from the dam, there is a pull-out on the LEFT side of the westbound freeway). It's about 100 feet from the bridge to the trailhead. Easy to find: Find the bridge over the creek. Walk towards Bonneville along the trail for a hundred feet or so, it'll be on your right. There's a sign tacked to a tree about 30 feet from the trail, warning you the trail isn't maintained.

Remember: Carry a cell phone to help others. If you have to carry a cell phone to help yourself, you shouldn't be there.

Next up for scrambles: Ruckle Ridge

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