Hangover 2014    Above the Weather

Oct 9-12

It happens that the annual Highlander event falls on differing weekends but usually it is the second or third week of October, closest to October 15th in my recollection.  I am glad it fell early this year because we had the best views and weather of any trip I can remember. 

The forecast for the Valley was bad.  Resultingly, it created some of the most original excuses from the Highlander clan I have heard in all my years of ascending this mountain.

I had related from the weeks before that the spring was dry which led to forumulation of one of the creative excuses from an unnamed Valleylander.  He said "I don't want to go to Hangover because there are no initiates and I don't want to fetch any wood or water."

Can you guess which Redheaded Highlander made that statement?  (BTW, that "bad weather" the week before left the spring flowing like never before)

The "bad weather" didn't stop our Muir Faction rep, Chuck Adams, from driving 800 miles to be at the Hangover.  Forecasts of rain don't scare this Highlander. He secured the Swann cabin for Dave and Jerky Mike on Wednesday.  I could not join until Friday because of being out of the country on a climbing trip.

Here in this "awful" weather, we managed to have a fire and hot dogs compliments of the trail bailer.

We had brownies and refreshments compliments of Jerky Mike.  Here, Chuck is asking again, "Who are the Dumplin Valleylanders?"

This is another picture of the dreadful weather we encountered on the Hangover this year.

You see how wet and miserable everyone is around the fire pit.

I am so drenched that I had to break out the shades and my new Horace shirt, compliments of Chuck Adams.

Wood was not an issue at all.  I suppose that folks took the Valley lander approach and avoided the Hang for lack of water and wood which left plenty of both for us.

Ricky Bobby made the trip for one night.  He related that he had run into two other Highlanders who had their own versions of excuses that should be added to the mix.  These are two Highlanders who have nine to five jobs that, for the first time since I have known them, had to suddenly "work on this particular weekend."  Their sudden need to work on this particular weekend I am certain, had nothing to do with the forecast in the Valley for drenching rain.  I am certain they had no idea we were above the weather.

Reference the clouds in the "valley", where most were getting soaking rains.

And who shows up late Saturday?  None other than Slapnuts who brought a friend up the traditional trail, Hangover Lead.

Yep, its the Ab Raptor.  He doesn't miss Hangovers despite the forecast.  And he brought his fingers for the dipping bowls.

And we toast the presence of Intrepid HIGHlanders in the absence of Valley landers.

It would be difficult to nap in adverse conditions.  And BC had no trouble doing so because the weather was so nice.  He also did something very nice for me.  I had left my window down at the trailhead.  It did rain at the trailhead so he put cardboard in the windows preventing the rain from seeping into my vehicle..  I really appreciate that gesture by George.  It's amazing that the only precipitation we encountered was after we went to sleep in the middle of the night.  I believe that the Muir Faction brought their good weather karma yet again.

Can anyone identify this bird?  It seems quite unique and of a fairly good size.

This is a thumbs up for good weather rally.

Again, the dreadful environmental conditions prohibited photography.

and wood.

This is looking off into the Valley, where the Valleylanders dwelled, all holed up in their homes while we watched the storms lightning below.

One of the great Valleylander excuses of the weekend was,  "Hangover has lost its magic."  This Valleylander was referring to the clear cut from which this picture is presently taken.  That excuse took number two on the Valleylander Excuseometer.

However, the overall hands down winner in the Highlander excuseometer was the one given via text message to Sally D.  That particular Highlander made the following statement.  "I can't come, my friend that was going to hike with me had a flare up of hemorrhoids, so I cant make it."   Everyone agreed that was the hands or pants down winner of the year.

For everyone who attended it was a magical event.  We were blessed by the mountain and its good karma thus showing that to those who  are undeterred by the environment, the environment is its own reward.  Our sympathy goes out to those who lost their battles with fear and hunkered in their valley.  Perhaps the forecast will allow them to return to nature next year.