On the 9th of June, 2011, three brave souls from the Foster School of Business set out to conquer Granite Mountain, 5,629 feet of jagged rock forged by the Gods to intimidate mortals from ascending to the heavens. Despite this fact, we departed the warm bosom of our beds at 6 AM and headed east towards Granite Mountain.
We arrived at the parking lot and started our ascent at 1,829 feet. After roughly 1,827 feet of elevation gain, we encountered a fork in the trail where we could continue on taking the summer trail and risk being emasculated by other climbers, or we could climb the much steeper snow gully and test out how comprehensive our student health coverage. We chose the latter, and strapped on our crampons and grabbed our ice axes to forge our way to the top.
We traversed from the snow gulley to Granite’s steep outer ridge, climbing up over terrain with over 40 degrees of slope (for serious). But at long last, we reached the summit of Granite two hours after we started. Upon our arrival, Anders cried out “Holy $h!t” as he was the first to discover that the Gods rewarded our hard work by lowering the cloud level enough to reveal a breathtaking vista of Mount Rainier and several peaks of the Cascade mountains.
We descended Granite soon after, glissading down the ridge and snow gulley in minutes, sharing our tale of heroism with other hikers who were foolish enough to follow in our footsteps. It was one of the most challenging hikes I have ever been on, yet one of the most rewarding as well.