But I wasn't successful; I didn't summit.
The short reason - I wasn't prepared physically - and mentally - for this adventure.
The attempted journey to the top, reminded me quite a bit of the first time that I ran a half marathon. A good foundation was there, but I didn't properly build on that foundation. Running 10 flat miles, wasn't the same as running a hilly 13.1 miles; hiking a slow pace to Muir wasn't the same thing as hiking a fast pace to Muir, and then beyond.
After my two hour summit of Mount Si, I had a false sense of confidence. And after those three different trips to Paradise, including the one time going all the way to Camp Muir, I felt I had done enough to get ready. I wasn't prepared for the parts after Muir.
I won't sit here and make excuses - we hiked too fast, the pack was too heavy, the air was too thin, the boots were too heavy, it was hard - the only thing that stopped me was me. I only have myself to blame. I wasn't ready. I didn't train long enough; I didn't train hard enough. I truly had no idea what to expect up there. I underestimated this hike, and I overestimated my physical and mental readiness.
And there was the mental challenges. Once we got to Muir, I started playing mental games with myself. I was actually trying to talk myself out of this experience. On the hike to Muir, I got the backs of my lower legs sunburned, and they started to itch, so I tried to tell myself that I had some crazy rash, or something that I was allergic to was in my sleeping bag. To this day, I still don't know why I was playing these mind games with myself. And once I started playing those mental games, I couldn't stop.
At the point I decided to turn back around, I truly didn't believe that I had enough strength and stamina to not only make it to the end of the next leg, but enough to make it back to Muir. Once you commit to the next leg, you are making a guarantee to your guide that you'll not only make it to the next point - but that you will be able to make it back to the beginning. I couldn't make that type of guarantee.
And so I turned back.
And didn't summit.