Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mount Pilchuck Hike - September 21, 2007

Upholding a challenging tradition, Adventure Education students reached the summit of Mount Pilchuck today. The six-mile hike was enjoyed by all. Lunch was backpacked to the summit and eaten in the fire lookout tower at the top. The chilly, windy conditions on the summit did not discourage students from carefully exploring the peak. While descending the mountain, students whistled “The Bridge Over the River Kwai” theme. This tune helped to set a moderate hiking pace. Students’ comments follow:

All the ups and downs are the ingredients for a learning experience. I learned that the great outdoors are the gateways to a great life. When I was on top of that mountain I thought of school, and where I could be. At the summit of Mount Pilchuck I learned that learning about people and places is better when you are there. When you experience something first hand you learn so much more.
- Sam L.

…it was one of the best experiences of my life!
- Jesse

The way up was very hard. It was exhausting because it was all up hill. My legs got tired towards the end and they were really tired but when I saw the top I didn’t want to stop and the pain went away. I don’t think I could have made it to the top without any friends.
- Jimmy

The most important thing I learned was how beautiful the Cascades are and how lucky we are to have these beautiful forests in Washington. When I saw the spectacular view I immediately fell in love with it and I didn’t want to leave. I think Mount Pilchuck is a place I will visit a lot throughout my life.
- Riley

After journaling, we found a trail that led to the tippy-top. I felt like I could see the world. The echo was intense; it traveled through the mountains like the wind when it blows through the trees, crisp and easy to define.
- Jessica

I feel proud of myself for finishing the hike, even though it was challenging at times. I learned that I have the determination it takes to do something like that and succeed in something I set my mind to.
- Daniel

Climbing Mt. Pilchuck was truly spectacular.
- Tommy

Since this was my first hike it helped me prepare for my big adventure in October when we head out to the west coast.
- Brittany

I have a much better perspective on mother nature and how beautiful it is. I now really understand about recycling and pollution because if seeing the mountain with trash everywhere it would be devastating. I also think the pollution could have made the sky all groggy and ugly looking. It was nice to get away from all the sounds of cars, sounds, phones, and it was nice to just listen to the wind and nature around us all.
- Patrick P.

The Mt. Pilchuck experience was one that took me out of my general comfort zone and encouraged me to continue to branch out and try different things. I think the most important thing that I learned falls under the category of what I learned about other people. The most important thing I learned was that a task like this affects everyone differently. I learned that some people learn to cope with some tasks differently than others. I also learned that sometimes the way they deal with things can be very entertaining. Like some people like to whistle or sing songs to pass time away.
- Devan

I learned many things on my climb. But one thing will definitely stick with me: that my body’s capable of going even when I’m convinced that I can’t go any further. When I was about fifteen minutes from summiting Mount Pilchuck my legs stopped for a second and felt like they would give out. It took everything I had left to get them to start churning again. My legs ached and burned with every step. But my body just kept going. That really taught me something about my mental strength.
- Sam D.

The most important thing I learned on the trip was to never give up. When I was the most tired and when I felt like giving up I didn’t. When I got to the top it paid off to not give up. Now I will never give up ever again in my life because I know it will pay off in the end.
- Patrick R.

I’m sad that it’s over. Maybe I will go again with my family and enjoy the experience again. Also I will stay a little longer. It would be easier too because there would be less people to look out for. I have to say this again, but I cannot wait until we go to the Washington coast because I’ve heard it is the best hike in the Northwest and I like hiking, so it will be good for me. I also get to be away from most people for five days. Adventure Ed is the best class.
- Quintin

Being with my school friends in a different environment, in an outside classroom, definitely made the learning experience more exciting.
- Grace


A special thanks to Mr. Snelling, Micah and Katie. Your guidance and passion enriched this experience beyond my expectations.

Nels Bergquist