Dont let jerks ruin a great hike

Peak Summited2020 Mount Baden-Powell
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadVincent Gap
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

Knowing that the weather was going to be in the 100s in the valleys, we decided to start sort of early since it would be in the 80-90s in the mountains around noon. We arrived at the Vincent Gap parking at about 7am. The lot already had a bunch of cars parked, but there was still room for about 10-15 more cars. The weather was in the comfortable 70 degree range.

This was the first hike I've done in about 6 months. As we began the initial ascent, I was a bit dismayed at my lack of conditioning on the relatively steep incline. My hiking partner was maintaining a challenging but do-able pace. I took comfort in knowing that there was a bench about a mile in. I just kept telling myself to make it to the bench while I appreciated the support from my trekking poles as we hiked our way up.

We finally made it to the bench and took a much needed break. The weather was beginning to get warmer but I knew that the rest of the hike would be mostly shaded until we got to the higher elevation with cooler temperatures. We continued on and made our way up the well maintained but narrow switchbacks. The trail was fairly quiet. We yielded to a few downhill joggers every now and then since the quick breaks were a welcome relief.

After about 2 more miles of switchbacks, the higher elevation, or an increase in the incline started to add on to the fatigue that was building up. We took a few more short breaks along the way.

After about another mile, we got to the Baden-Powell saddle and took in the great views before continuing on the last bit before the summit. When we finally made it to the peak, it was about 930am and the weather was warm but comfortable.

There were about 10 other people around. However, there was still plenty of room to find a spot to rest after getting a picture with the elevation marker. Unfortunately, the US flag was no longer attached to its flagpole but I'm sure someone will eventually re-attach one. We took some pictures and rested while enjoying the view.

As we began the descent, the downhill trek gave my legs some relief from all the previous climbing. The trail was still quite empty. We yielded to a few uphill hikers occasionally. Frustratingly, there was an instance of a hiker walking up a more narrow than usual section, and right before I was about to step aside he rudely made a sarcastic comment like “what I'd like you to do is keep walking to make it more difficult for me.” I told him that I was stepping aside. He then yelled some obscenities as we went our separate ways. The interaction was particularly jarring since most (if not all) other hikers have been polite (as usual). Anyway, it served as a self reminder to choose not to let jerks ruin a nice hike, and also to appreciate the pleasant interactions that tend to be the majority.

We made it back to the car at about 12pm. Right when the weather was heating up in the 90s. It was a strenuous but enjoyable hike and I'm looking forward to bagging a higher peak next time!


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