Granite Mountain (5629 ft)
October 21, 2001
Michael, Alex K, and I decided to do a pre-work hike up Granite Mountain this morning. 4:00am comes early and I find it very difficult to wake up at this time, especially if I set the alarm clock for 4:00pm. Whoops! So Michael ended up driving himself down to the park-n-ride so I didn't have to make the trip up north. We all met at the park and ride, piled into Alex's car and headed up to the mountains.
Jupiter, Saturn, and thousands of stars were shining brightly as we arrived at the trailhead. We gazed at the stars briefly before entering the dark forest. The clear night made for a cold morning and our breath was made visible by our headlamps. About 30 minutes into the hike we started stopped because we hadn't come to the trail that turns off to Granite Mt. We almost turned around when someone suggested we go on for another few minutes. It was good that we did because twenty feet further we found the turn off! If it was lighter we would have been able to see the turnoff from where we were standing!
We made good time on the snowless trail and before long we came out of the trees. Here the trail crossed a ravine so we left the trail and started the ridge to the left of the gulley. I was quite tired by this time and didn't look forward to the steeper terrain, but I kept telling myself that this was better because we were gaining more altitude! Yes, yes, gasp, gasp!
Michael and Alex stopped every now and then to make sure I was still following them. I made the mistake of only bringing one liter of water and I was rationing it very strictly. As a result I found myself eating handfuls of snow as I passed the sparse patches amongst the rock and frozen blueberry bushes. At one such rest stop, I broke off a large block of snow, took a few bites then rolled the rest down the hill. Michael saw this and thought I was losing it. I was just having fun with the elements!