When you hang out in the same groups and same areas for a long time, it’s easy to think that you’re getting to be a pretty good skier, hiker, etc. Skiing at Crystal always reminds me of this. You can ride up the Forest Queen list and hear people talking about how incredible they are (on blue and green beginner runs), but if you head out to the Northway lift, you’ll see people throwing backflips off cliffs and not bragging at all. Living in the Pacific Northwest, there’s always someone nearby who is infinitely better than you. We have some incredible outdoor athletes around here!
I bring this up because someone just forwarded me an article that blew my mind. When I hiked up to Camp Muir at 10,000 feet on Mt. Rainier, it took me 4 hours and 10 minutes to get up there. We have a guy in our church who is in great shape and can get from Paradise (5400 feet) to the top of Rainier (14,400 feet) and back down in less than 24 hours. The guys in this article did that whole route from Paradise to the summit and back in 4 hours, 19 minutes and 12 seconds! So in the time I went from Paradise to Muir (halfway to the summit), they had done the entire trip. Unbelievable! You can read their full writeup on coastmountainskiing.com.
PS. While writing this I also learned that there is now a web cam at Camp Muir!