Two summits in one day, a rare day in Washington hiking.
Mark Davis and myself (Matthew) set out to summit Mount Defiance, a good hike for training. Definance is a longer hike on the Bandara trail. You end up going 2.5 miles up Bandara, and then head West over the mountain to Mason lake. From Mason lake you head due West, and up the ridge of the Mt. Definance. The trail is in good condition, but can be tough, since your at 5.5 miles when you get to the part of the trail, that goes striaght up to the summit. We ended up getting to this intersection in good time having taken no breaks all the way up.
In seeing an off shoot trail that headed due north from this intersection, we realized we could finally summit P3, a ridge we named "Banana Ridge" about 5 years back. This ridge has been one we have aspired to climb for a long time, but no official trail exists.
We made our way due north through the trees following a basic game trail until we came out on the actual ridge, around a mile in.
We then scrambled across the ridge for another 3/4 mile, finally reaching the high point. The hike is slow, since running a ridge is a bit harder than it looks from the sat photos. The long hike in (7 miles) was worth it, the view was limited, but it still looked great when the breaks came in the clouds, and you could see Definance in the background, and Bandara past that. We covered some real ground, but needed to summit Defiance on the way back. We dropped our packs once we reached the trail intersection again, and went straight up to the top of Defiance. Man, it was tough at 10 miles into the hike.
We spent 3 minutes on top, and down we went. Grabbed the packs, and we were off by 2:00pm.
I rate myself a C for the hike, since I carried 40+ pounds, but my pace was a bit slower than normal. 14 miles round trip, and we did in 5+ hours flat. Still needs some work.