Last weekend, Barbarian and I climbed Pilot Rock with our friend, Camper. The summit of Pilot Rock is over 5900 feet. The climb covers an elevation change of 2000+ feet. Pilot Rock is actually the cooled magma of an ancient volcano’s central vent. Over time the exterior of the volcano has eroded away. I was pretty excited to climb until I found out about the extreme free solo rock climb required at the end of the trail to summit the rock.
Upon further research (I googled), I discovered that people have died trying to make the final climb. OMG! Are you kidding me? I am a pretty careless gal that usually has a few unexplained bruises at any given time. But I couldn’t back out. The boys would never let me live it down!
We set out at 7:00 AM. We wanted to beat the heat and other hikers. We could see Pilot Rock from several miles out. And as we got closer, it got bigger. Oh my. It was going to be a long morning.
The first part of the trail was a pretty easy, dirt trail. Then it started going uphill fast at a steep angle. The boys were leaving me behind but I was okay with that. They like to race to the top. I prefer to take my time, enjoying the trail and my surroundings. And then was my least favorite part. Steep, dirt and large loose gravel. It sucked! Most of this part required a lot of using your hands to climb. Lots of bear walking. Not so fun.
It was at this point that he was beginning to think he might not make it up.