Going UP?

posted Sep 27, 2012, 12:03 PM by Paul Wagner
M arriving at the top of the pass.
A lot of people have contacted us about potential trails and trailheads, and one of the questions they almost always ask is: How steep is it?
Turns out, people don't want to hike uphill.  They do want to see wonderful alpine vistas, and usually want to get away from the crowds.  They even enjoy reaching a summit.  But not if it means hiking uphill.
Well, it usually does mean hiking uphill.  That's M hiking to the top of Silliman pass, at right. And the view from up there were simply spectacular.
 P at the Pass with Post Peak behind him.©http://backpackthesierra.com
We understand the concern.  When you are on vacation, it somehow doesn't seem right to be working so hard that you are dripping with sweat and gasping and panting with exhaustion.  Hiking uphill can do that to you.
Or rather, you can do that to yourself when you are hiking uphill.
We've found that over the years, our fear of climbing has somewhat disippated.  We don't actively look for the steepest trail on the map, but we don't avoid a climb when it's on the way to where we are going.  We do take them nice and easy, steady and slow.  And we find that we eventually get to the top.  With luck, we aren't breathing that hard, and the only place we're really sweaty in on our back, up against the pack.  We arrive at most passes feeling pretty pleased with ourselves, and not exhausted. 
That's P, enjoying the view at Post Peak Pass last year.
And guess what?  We find spectacular alpine vistas and fewer people. 
Who'd a thunk it?