One Day in Achorage, Alaska
If you had only ONE day in Anchorage, Alaska – What would you do? The answer for me was simple; Find a place to hike and be outdoors. I found a place that met all my criteria; It was challenging and had great views – Flattop Mountain. After consulting the site map in the parking lot, I started out on an early morning hike. Within the first few minutes, two deer appeared on the trail path. I patiently waited for them to pass and snapped some pictures. A couple of thoughts about maybe being unprepared for this hike crossed my mind, such as not have a whistle or bear spray…but I shook them off and continued.
Hiking Flattop Mountain
The first part of the trail was easy to navigate. There was only a slight elevation, and the path was worn down by many other footsteps from previous adventurers. I continued to snap photos while pretending I was a nature photographer.
The Second Leg…
At the second leg of the trail it started to lightly rain. After looking at the sky, it was slightly overcast but there were clear patches. I didn’t have a raincoat with me, so I continued onwards and hoped the weather would clear up. Stairs, stairs and more stairs. A group of travellers passed me on their descent, and we shared some greetings. They commented that it was very cold at the top of the mountain to which I responded cheekily that I was Canadian and used to the cold.
Onward and Upwards
By this point my small water bottle was about half empty, and I regretted the decision of leaving my larger bottle in the car. I continued to snap photographs; however the novelty of the entire hike was starting to wear off. At the top of the stairs, I was so hot that I removed my sweatshirt. I was now down to my t-shirt and yoga pants.
Where was the trail? I squinted upwards and thought I made out a couple of people at the summit. I thought about turning back. I looked down and thought about how far I had come. After some consideration, my sense of pride kicked in. I wanted bragging rights to say that I had climbed to the top. I continued onwards. Hand over hand, crawling up the rocky face. And then it happened. I slipped. Loose rock spilled down the side of the mountain and into the abyss. My yoga pants ripped. I sat down for about ten minutes to calm down. During this timeout, I realized a few of things:
1. I was alone
2. I had no wilderness supplies
3. No one would know if I fell or could come save me, as there were less than 20 people I had seen on the trail that day
4. I shouldn’t have climbed up this last part of the trial
5. I could have just died
6. I currently was off the trail and on the wrong side of the mountain
7. I ripped the only pair of pants that I had for the plane ride home…
Up or down, up or down, what should I do next? Stupid foolish pride kicked back in, and I circled around and made it to the summit. I took tons of pictures and selfies, and then started my descent. The trip downwards was anti-climatic. I made it to the airport in time to catch my evening flight home. Lessons learned? I’ll have to get back to you on that one. The view sure looks good at an elevation gain of 1252 feet though!
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