I doubled Mailbox. Back to back starting at 5am. 1:58 ascent for the first round. 2:11 for the second. 8,228 feet of gain over 10.5 miles. These are facts and easy to understand.
What's not easy to understand is why I did it.
I climb Mailbox most Sunday mornings because it's a great workout that occasionally turns out spectacular views. It's close to home and I can be back home before the family is awake.
I can't claim any of these "features" this time.
I got plenty of exercise on the first lap so I definitely didn't need to do it again. The weather wasn't great and the views were limited at best. I didn't get home until after lunch and there wasn't even any adulation because we only saw one pair of hikers on our way down and they didn't say anything when we passed them on the second lap!
So clearly there must have been some other reason to do it.
I doubled to push myself to see if I could crank out 8,000 feet of gain. It's by far the most I've climbed in a single day. I was tempted to post about my plans beforehand, but decided I wasn't doing it for anyone else.
The hardest part was being on the summit the first time. The weather was lousy and because I knew I was only a quarter the way through the effort there was no rush and no sense of accomplishment.
At the trailhead, Eric took Treen back to the house while I changed into dry clothes for my second ascent. Surprisingly, I wasn't tempted to bail. (15 minutes later I was tempted to turn for home, but pushed through it.)
Standing by the mailbox for the second time I did get the rush of satisfaction fueled by dopamine. Meh. It wasn't Mailbox^2 or even 2xMailbox. Kind of a let down, actually. The biggest thrill was spotting a pika where I'd never seen one before. It was the highest I've seen an animal on Mailbox. (Apparently, they're not as smart as I thought.)
Down at the trailhead other hikers were getting ready to head up. They didn't know we'd already been up and down twice and it didn't bother me at all. I'd proved to myself that I could push beyond