Little Bandera Mountain 11/28/15

Lots of these birds on Bandera
Lots of these birds on Bandera

Derek made it to the top.  My legs, just pooped enough after Thursday’s hike, gave out just short of the summit.  I sat down on a rock and said I was done going up.  A few minutes later I had enough gas in the tank to go a bit higher, but by then Derek was coming down.

This hike starts at the same trail head (Ira Springs) for Mt. Defiance, but about 2.5 miles up the trail splits.  We took the “Bandera” path today and from that point to the top it is steep, then steeper, then steepest.

Tough going
Tough going

It is hard to capture in photos but the one above gives you an idea.  Anyway, this is a super hike and we are going back as soon as we can.  The only downside (other than my legs acting like the legs of an old man) is that on the way down we must have encountered 60 or 70 hikers going up.  If you are planning to hike up Ira Springs Trail, do it on a weekday.

Plenty to be excited about on this hike:

Summit view of Rainier
Summit view of Rainier
Looking south, with moon
Looking south, with moon
It's straight up from here
It’s straight up from here

As I say, I didn’t make it all the way up but Derek did and this is what he saw:

Mason Lake
Mason Lake
Another summit view
Another summit view
The last scramble
The last scramble
Watch your step
Watch your step

Bottom line is that it was a super day.  Plus, shortly after I got home Derek and Jill and Fin and Cam showed up.  Granny and I got to hang out with Cam and Fin while mom and dad visited with a friend from out of town.

And then Fin wound up staying over – she is snoozing away with Granny even as I type.  Fun!

Not sure when we will do our next hike but I will be sure to space them so my legs get at least 2 days off between hikes.  I am really not happy I got as far as I got (probably less than 1/4 mile from the summit) and lost leg energy.  Live and learn.

Update 11/30: link to visualization

http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/djhiker/little-bandera-mountain-false-summit/#.VlzlcZXltD8

 

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