Sunday, July 26, 2020

Living Vicariously in the High Country

My progress is slow, and some days non-existent. I know now that I was blessed with my first spine surgery with a remarkably easy recovery. I am having to accept the fact that this time is vastly different. I am grounded for some time to come.

But my children! They are seeking new heights!

Jake and Jill are experienced hikers and mountain climbers. Both spent years participating in classes as members of The Mountaineers. Jake has recently rejoined in order to find hiking partners, as his reliable employment and three day weekends are allowing him to have an active life.

On Monday we received these photo from his hike. This first photo shows his hiking partner Steve nearing the summit of Mount Roosevelt.
 The second photo shows Jake "lounging" near the rocky top of Kaleetan Peak. Billed as a two-for-one, it's a 14 mile scramble over many scree fields and an elevation gain of 5200ft for both summits. 
That's quite a King of the Mountains throne. And there are flowers way up there. 
 The view from the top.

With a mix up in the car shuttle and an extra five miles round trip, it was well past dark before I received word that he was home safe and sound. What a long and challenging day. 

On Wednesday Jill led a Mountaineering hike to Del Campo, which is a peak in the North Cascades. Listed as "Class 3 or 4, helmets, gear, technical expertise required", this is not a walk in the park either, with an elevation gain of 4300 ft over 13 miles up and down. 

Steve was there on this hike too. 

I think I'm glad to learn most of the details after they are all safe back at sea level. I Google these places, of course, and marvel at what it takes to do this. I never would have been able to achieve this, even as a young person.

On Saturday Jill led Irene on another hike, to McClellan Butte, 7 miles and 3000 ft elevation gain.  Jill is teaching Irene to be an accomplished hiker. In preparation they do things like run steps together. Uff-da.

Jill posted all of these photos on Facebook.
 The bottom of the trail leads through some old growth forest. That's the summit high above. 
 The top is a scramble. 

 The view includes Mt Rainier. 

What about Isaac, you say. Well, he does not profess to being much of a hiker, but he did go out with a friend this week and hiked the PooPoo Point trail, about five miles round trip, the steep way,  1858 ft gain. PooPoo Point is the famous jumping off place for paragliders. This is a Google photo. Isaac walked back down.

 My back hurts more just thinking about all of this action. I am having to work at walking across the room. But I am proud of my kids and happy that I can share their accomplishments. 


  1. Your kids are in a very interesting and satisfying activity. I did a lot of back packing and enjoyed every minute.

  2. They live in a beautiful area to get in those beautiful hikes! Good for Irene...and for Issac too doing his own thing! Sure hope you have less pain soon:) That photo of Irene and a long way down is a little scary for me:)

  3. Very impressive but not for me. Just seeing Jake's perch makes me feel dizzy ( heights are not for me)

  4. amazing kids, I climbed a mountain once when I was 20 and in great condition but it was a piece of cake compared to these feats...

  5. Wonderful hikes! I've not been on any hard ones this year, but I too am limited in what I can accomplish these days. After all, we ARE septuagenarians, and you are recovering from back surgery. I'm so sorry to learn how slowly your progress is, but I'm just glad you are getting better. Love all these pictures! Thank you so much. :-)

  6. Wow, those hikes are amazing. Like you, almost positive I couldn't have done it in my most athletic, younger days. Be proud of your youngsters.

  7. Amazing climbers in your family! The photos are amazing with the views.

    I'm sorry to hear your recovery is going slowly. Sending positive thoughts that things improve soon.

  8. I am proud of your kids, too. Hiking is something I would not do now, due to my sore knee.

  9. I love the scenery and admire those who do such things but this is not what I would consider a fun day out.

  10. It's always fun to go climbing with the Reeders! In the first two shots of Jake, he's lounging on the top of Roosevelt not Kaleetan, which is the looming pointy-looking thing in the background (according to the Washington Geographic Names folks, "kaleetan" is a Chinook jargon term for "arrowhead," which is certainly appropriate). I think the final shot of him standing is on top of Kaleetan, judging by the background.

    But these are minor matters compared to your recovery from your recent surgery, which I hope will go smoothly from here on out! -- Steve

  11. really envious of those young'uns. So wonderful that they share. Having hiked (a little) I can almost smell the snow.


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