Last weekend I did a training hike up Mt Si. For those who aren’t from this area, Mt Si is considered by most of the city as the hike to do to be able to call yourself a real hiker. It’s only about 45 minutes from downtown Seattle and at 8 miles RT and 3100′ elevation, is considered to be on the difficult side. It’s the most popular hike in the state and I hate it more than anything.

[Image via]

One of the reasons people do Si is that the slope is very consistent and it’s easy to gauge your fitness level. People use it to train for any number of challenging climbs, most commonly Mt Rainier. It’s not uncommon to see people loaded down with heavy packs and their latest gear purchases, charging up the trail. And since it’s close to the city, you can get a good morning workout in and be back home in time for an afternoon BBQ. It also has lovely views from the top. It’s for these reasons that we chose to do it this past Saturday (I had a 2pm BBQ to go to!).

As part of our training, Amy and I are each wearing 20+lb packs on our back to simulate what we’ll be carrying on our climb. This means we’ll be going a little slower than a lot of people on the mountain, so before we get going, we stop to let a large group pass by. One of the guys says to us, “Stopping to rest already? You haven’t even started yet!”. This basically set the tone for the rest of our hike.

I’m pretty sure we saw more people on the trail than I do walking to the bus from my office after work during rush hour in downtown. It’s crazy! But we made decent time, getting to the top in 2.5 hours (my best is 2 hours with 40+lbs on my back!). On the way down, we ran into a couple holding hands, another couple shouting at each other from several switchbacks apart, 4 young girls trying to cut the switchbacks through the forest and getting stuck, and someone smoking. I tell you, this hike is crazy making!

Unfortunately I have no photos to share as I was running short on time and everything was pretty hazy that day, but I promise to take some this weekend of our hike up Granite Mt and share them next week!

Preparing to Climb to the Roof of Africa (And Other Adventures)
The Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb

2 thoughts on “Kili Training Hikes: Mt Si

  1. Hi, your Blog site was passed on to my daughter, Emily, by her good friend Emma Endicott. We (me, my husband, 2 of my kids, Emily’s husband- Mike, Mike’s sister, and 4 others) are planning to climb Kili in early January. Please share with me any and all advice you have.
    We live in southeast Alaska- so basically sea level. The info I have read so far is great!
    Thanks, Sarah

    1. Hi Sarah!

      I’m so excited for you and your family to climb Kili! The most important piece of advice I think I can give is that it’s so worth it. The hardest part of the climb is summit night, and while it’s physically exhausting, it’s mentally tougher. Knowing that it was worth getting to the top was a huge help for me when I was cold, tired and having a hard time breathing. I have more blog posts on the day by day specifics coming soon, but I’ll send you an email as well with everything I can possibly think of. I hope you have a great time on your trip!!


Comments are closed.