Mailbox Peak, Mar 17, 2002

Mailbox Peak is one of the more grueling training climbs that I do. This week I was accompanied by one of my good friends, Chip Brackett . The trail head is hard to find, it is designated with a toothbrush as the only way to tell where it is . As one of the harder hikes, this one doesn't mess around; you start out hiking straight up the mountain, gaining 2000 ft of altitude in 1.5 miles.  The majority of the trail was in snow, as the first couple miles were under the forest canopy. It made for a picturesque hike .

Finally, we hit the tree line, and it was all steep rocks and knee deep snow to the summit. Chip and I took turns breaking trail. Unfortunately, the trail's inclination started at 21 degrees and quickly moved to 30 degrees, which was bad because that is primo avalanche conditions.

Chip and I proceeded to the top, and we were about 300 vertical feet from the summit, when the conditions worsened. At this point, every step I was taking was causing a bunch of snow to go down the mountain - hence we called it quits for the day.

Chip and I basically ran the whole way down the mountain,  stopping only briefing to change our crampons. When we reached the bottom I was exhausted .