Kickin' it on Mt St Helens

Windy Pass MSHSo I'm still 10 pounds over weight but feel pretty good after a series of recovery hikes I've done with my daughter, each one getting a little longer and harder with the last being a 32 mile hike of the Loowit Trail around Mt St Helens. Any lingering effects are barely noticeable and the legs are recovering nicely. This last hike had us doing 12 miles the first day and 20 on the second, slowed by heat and darkness on the last day but physically not really a sufferfest (total elevation gain for this hike is @6000'). Consistency is the name of the game and my schedule should allow for an event once a week, a good way to build for the harder events I have planned (like the Mt Rainier Grand Tour).

This hike was my first test of my custom Borah Gear Snowyside bivy, my primary shelter planned for this season's solo hikes. It was an excellent side by side test as my daughter was using my older ZPacks bivy. Conditions on the Plains of Abraham were cool at night with a significant breeze at first, then calm winds. My daughter was up first with a soaked bivy top and a damp sleeping bag, a surprising condition considering the breathability of her bivy. Mine, with a 1.5 cuben bottom and eVent top, only felt a little clammy on the inside of the top part of the bivy, with dew and water rolling off on the outside and a completely dry quilt for me. Condensation is always a concern with bivy bags and this first night out was very encouraging. I had the bag made at 90 inches long so I could put gear inside and the volume seems just about right. I'll do a proper gear review after more use. As for my Geigerrig pressurized bladder I am having mixed results. At first there's a pretty good stream going but it doesn't take long for the pressure to become equalized and I end up sucking the end just like a regular bladder. This was also the first time I used the filter in the setup and although it worked, I had to work to get the water out. I do like the 3 liter capacity though so I'll see how it fares under long term use. Other gear that is working out great: ZPacks staff, custom Zimmerbuilt front pack.

Borah Gear custom Snowyside on bottom