September 7, 2007
So depending on what hike you are doing that day is what determines your start time. If you are gonna hike to the summit, aka the marathon hike, you need to start at 5am or earlier. This is recommended due to the chance of running into some day storms when you reach timberline. All in all this hike was amazing; it required some endurance once you reached timberline if you want to keep a certain pace. The last thirty minutes of the high is what they call the 16 golden stairs which are 16 switch backs to the top of the summit. At this point in my hike I thought I was gonna die... okay it was really not that bad but you see I am from Texas and the attitude got to me fast.
Having finished it I am really excited I did. As far as the difficulty of the hike, it is not bad at all until you reach the last two miles. From here up it is almost non stop switchbacks and no oxygen. I would plan on this being a day event because if you decided to hike it back down and not take the 20-dollar train then you will have 13 miles back to the bottom. You will probably be pretty soar unless you are used to this type of hike and it will take you longer to come down. This is because you will want to stop at Bar Camp to refresh yourself.
Bar camp is the half way point. It is a good place to stop, rest, grabs some eats and a cup of tea then be on your way. If you decided that you do not want to hike the marathon in one day Bar Camp is also a good camping site that you can relax and wait till the morning to hike the rest of the way down. Out of the hikes that I have done in my life I have to say that is by far the coolest thing I have ever done. I highly recommended this hike to anyone. You might be careful if you are from lower attitudes and you have respiratory problems. Other than that I recommend you take lots of water and snacks. Enjoy the hike and write a review of what you think. Good Luck.
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