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Thursday, September 12, 2013

New Stair Master

Here on Kodiak it is getting close to fall.  The fireweed has already turned red and pretty soon we will have our first frost.  This is also the time of year when I need to start getting in shape for winter.  During the summer I barely exercise, and every year about this time I find the need to do something to get back into shape.  Since I don't run, or like going to gyms, and there is no skiing my options are somewhat limited.  I suppose I could go biking or take up swimming, but what I like to do is climb up mountains.  It is a very quick and effective form of exercise.

Zoya always calls my mountain hikes 'nature's stair master,' and in the past I have always driven out to Monashka Bay or up to Pyramid Mt to find my climb. Each option entailed a lot of time wasted driving to and fro.  So this year I chose to try a new hike - straight up Pilar Mountain from the docks past the landslide.  My old neighbor Len S used to climb it during his lunch break to get ready for sheep hunts, and I have always wanted to try it.  So this week I did.

I had a heck of a time finding the trailhead, and it looks like nobody uses the trail anymore.  But there is still a deeply incised foot tread to follow.  It is a VERY steep climb.  So steep that the first time I tried it I chickened out halfway up.  Yesterday I climbed all the way to the top.  It is a lung busting 1250 feet vertical, and I don't think it would be safe in wet or slippery conditions.  But for a quick climb close to town it is an excellent option!  Patrick

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