– Ben Martens

Attacked by the Tiger

Tim and I met at the main Tiger Mountain trailhead after work yesterday for a quick climb up the mountain. I decided to make the trip a bit tougher on myself and added two gallons of water to my backpack. (If you watch Good Eats you'll know that "a pint is a pound the world around" so it's easy to figure out that a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds.)

We were on a personal record setting pace. We stopped three times for about 5 minutes total and were on pace to make the summit in just over an hour. When we got about a half mile from the top, a storm started to roll in. That's right, a thunderstorm in Seattle. We've been having a bunch of them the past couple days. We sat out on the deck the other night watching the lightning. It's a very rare site around here, but it's not one that I really wanted to see on top of a mountain. We made it to about 0.3 miles from the summit when I finally caved and told Tim I wanted to turn around. Everyone coming down from the top said it was getting nasty up there and I really didn't want to be standing on top of a mountain in a lightning storm. As it turns out, we might have been ok since the storm didn't go directly over head. We got a little wet on the way down but nothing serious thanks to the thick canopy overhead.

I concluded carrying an extra 16 pounds is a great incentive to lose weight. I kept thinking "I should just pour out one of them. Eight pounds less would feel so good. Wait, I could just lose 8 pounds. Then I would feel this much better all the time." I'm happy to say I made it through the entire hike without reducing my load, but it was a big challenge.