Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Hiking Little Si, North Bend, Washington

Trail Description 

Length: 4.7 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 1300 feet
Difficulty Assessment: Easy
Trail Type: Out and Back


About an hour east of Seattle, in the North Bend area, is Mt. Si.

Mt. Si is a popular hiking destinations for visitors and locals alike and is moderately trafficked out and back. There are two popular ways to hike Mt. Si: one is to hike up Little Si, the other is to hike up Mt. Si proper. Dogs are able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Bathrooms are at the start of the trail.

If you get there too late, parking may be tough. The car lot isn't very big.

Little Si is a good start for anyone interested in hiking Mt. Si but is unsure whether they can handle the mountain. It's a much shorter hike and can be used to gauge your fitness level.

Near the beginning of the trail (0.3 miles, 0.5 miles), there is an opportunity to get on the Boulder Garden Loop and merge with the more challenging Mount Si trail.

Climbing Chalk Review: One Good, One Bad

Inspired by how terrible my new chalk is, I decided to write a short entry on climbing chalk.

The BAD: A week ago, I finally ran out of climbing chalk. Out of convenience, I decided to buy a bag of Metolius Super Chalk from the gym rather than order from online.

After a week of use, I can confidently say that Metolius Super Chalk is terrible chalk. It fails to keep your hand dry enough and disappears almost immediately when you start to perspire. With Metolius Super Chalk, the only time your hands stay dry is when you're tying in to the rope or when you're switching hands to chalk them up. After you commit to your first tricky move, the chalk is gone. For at about $4.50, it's still a waste of your money and I plan on dumping out my entire bag when I eventually return home to Arizona.

The Good: In general, I've had good experience with chalk blocks, but the brand I'm going to suggest to you all today is Chalkness Monster.

I discovered Chalkness Monster a few months back when I was browsing Amazon for a refill. At $12.95, I decided to buy a pound of chalk from Chalkness Monster. The order came in as 8, 2oz Blocks and each block tends to last me a few months before I have to unwrap another block and break it down into my climbing bag. Most satisfying, the chalk dries my hands and keeps them dry for what I'm trying to climb past. I'm not constant diving into my chalk bag every tough hold like I am with Metolius' brand.

If you're in the market for chalk to refill your bag with, go with Chalkness Monster. I highly recommend it and so do many others on Amazon.
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