The Year In Review

     The year 2002 was a very good hiking year. I knew that I would have to spend many weekends house building (Bob's Cabin) .  The metal roof is nearly finished and in 2003 I should be able to spend a little more time hiking. All in all, it was a very interesting experience. I took 12 completely new trips this past year and hiked the Tiger Mountain Trail end to end for the first time. I had hiked every bit of the trail but not in one day. I had my first hike in the California Sierra Mountains near Lake Tahoe. I also took my first mountain bike/hiking trip. 2002 also saw more skiing/snowshoeing combination trips. Below I have a month by month review of the year 2002.

The hiking year started slowly as I took off one weekend for a visit to Clyde and Mary in Phoenix. Having 65 degree days in January was a small price to pay for missing some hiking. I only had 3 trips this month, 2 skiing and a one way hike over West Tiger Mountain with Gary.

An unusual February as I only skied one time. Two hikes and a snowshoe scramble rounded out the month. The long 14 miles slog up  Mt. Teneriffe was the highlight as I ran into Myron for the first time in about  7 years.

March was very good as I hiked 71 miles in 8 trips. The 13,200' gained was also very good for Winter. Three great trips this month. My first snowshoe trip to Kendall Point, the bump to the north of the Kendall Peak Lakes Road. I sat on top in bright sunshine for several hours. Gary led me on a loop trip from  Pipe Creek near Blewett (Swauk) Pass. We had road and off-trail skiing plus a snowshoe scramble up Point 5969, which we at first thought was Table Mountain. The wind at the top was howling and our stay was short. The overall trip was great and I can't wait to do it again. The third great trip was  Mazama Ridge from the Narada Falls trailhead. A tremendous amount of new snow had fallen.


April had 3 memorable trips. The first was Dungeness Spit . I did this trip with the Mountaineers. I have wanted to hike out to the lighthouse for years but just never got around to it. With the ferry ride it is a long and fairly expensive day hike. Having a car full of Mountaineers cut the cost significantly. Spring is a great time to do this hike as the waves are large and the crowds are smaller. On that day the Sequim rain shadow was about the only dry place in Western Washington. A fun trip I will do again. The second great trip was a March 20th ascent of  Iron Peak in the Teanaway. Now that the road is plowed to 29 Pines it's possible to do this trip any time of year. The 16 mile trek included over 14 miles on snow. The view from the summit was spectacular as the Cascade peaks were still covered in their Winter snow. The last memorable trip was a Mountaineer scramble of Pratt Mountain . There was much fresh snow, in fact enough to change our destination from Humpback Mountain to Pratt. Coming down to Olallie Lake in the soft snow nearly everyone fell down at least once.

The pace really picked up in May as I took 8 trips for 80 miles and 23,500' gained. There were three more memorable trips. Gary and I snowshoed up Sasse Mountain . We were looking for an old abandoned trail and never found it. Instead we hiked cross country then snowshoed straight up a huge clearcut. Interesting route finding and an unexpectedly tree covered summit. Next was Navaho Peak . I have done this one many times with snow but never this much. After about one mile the rest of the route was deep under snow. It was a beautiful sunny day and I put the wrong memory card in my camera. No pictures on a spectacular day. I saw nobody the whole day. The last interesting trip was a Mountaineer trip to Lake Serene . Bridal Veil Falls were huge. The trail was completely snow covered about 1/2 mile from the lake. The leader let me take 3 other brave souls on a scramble to the lake. Without ice axes it was challenging. A good time was had by all.

Bob's cabin's foundation was delayed so I took advantage of unexpected free time to get in 99 miles with 31,400' gained. I had 5 great trips that month. First was  Earl Peak with Bill Stocker. Hiking up the Standup Creek Valley we had to make 7 creek crossings each way. The creek was much deeper than I had ever seen. Once on snow it was a fun cross country scramble to the summit. Next was a snow scramble of  Goat Island Mountain with the Mountaineers. We had a good group and fairly good weather. Good views early then the clouds came in. Perhaps the most interesting trip of the year was the bike/hike venture Gary and I did. A poor map and gates in places they weren't supposed to be led us to start in a place other than where we expected. Along with not knowing where we were we discovered how difficult it is to gain over 2000' on a bike with hiking boots and a pack. When the road ended at a pass we quickly discovered that we were only a few miles from Miller Peak . We ended up with a nice scramble to the top and a screaming fast ride back to the car.

The cabin foundation was further delayed and I had another Summer month to hike. The highlight was a snow scramble of  Rock Mountain with Patricia, a the sister of a friend's friend who was visiting from Ireland. We had great weather and good snow conditions. The view of Glacier Peak was fantastic. Gary and I hiked up  Shriner Peak . It was the first time I had done this long put off peak. Nice trail and great views of Rainier. Finally, Gary and I hiked up  Mt. Aix on an overcast and cold July day. It was amazing to see only a few other parties in July.

Cabin building took precedence in August. I only managed 5 trips but several were among the best of the year. I was on a Mountaineer scramble of  Bean Peak and the leader allowed me to turn it into a loop via Fourth Creek Pass and Beverly Creek. Next was my only backpack trip of the year. Gary, Dave, and I hiked up to  Peggy's Pond . We scrambled up two peaks the first day. On day two we followed the ridge on Mt. Daniel to over 7000' before deciding the summit was not to be. From the ridge we had a  tremendous glissade back down. On the way out we had a long ridge run on an abondoned trail. Sunny, hot days to a place I have long wanted to visit. I ended the month with another trip that I have long wanted to do. From Sunrise I hiked a loop including the summits of Fremont, Skyscraper, and Burroughs Mountains . The weather started sunny but I hurried back to the sound of thunder close by. We did get alot of the cabin put up in August.

Cabin building took up most of my time and I only fit in 4 hikes. Three of them were great. First, I met Clyde and Mary at her Aunt and Uncles home at Lake Tahoe. It was a terrific vacation and Clyde and I took off one morning and hiked up Mt. Tallac . From nearly 10,000' the view was amazing. I did better at high elevation than I expectied. Clyde doesn't hike but he did very well. I slipped out of town for an after work mid-week hike up Snoqualmie Mountain . I had meant to do this for a dozen years but just never made it. Finally, I hiked to a great close in scramble summit. While there is a "trail" all the way to the top, I would not take a trail hiker up it. Nice views and I was home before dark. At the end of the month I took Gary along on a trip I first did last year.  Mt. David is a very strenuous hike to an incredible summit. 16 miles and 5700' gained is a long day. We drove in on Friday night in the dark and were able to get an early start. Fall colors, a long ridge walk, and a memorable summit.

Lot's of cabin weekends and I was sick. The combination left me with only 3 hikes for the whole month. My annual larch trip was to Ingall's Lake . I timed it perfectly as the larch were at their peak. I had a sunny day and a forest of golden larch. I also did a nearly annual fall trip up Mt. Dickerman . There was snow for the last mile or so. All of the Puget Sound Basin was smogged in but the mountains were in the sunshine.

By far the low point of the year. Bad weather and too much to do plus a trip to Philadelphia to pick up my Subaru Outback led to only 2 hikes. Both were in the first three days of the month and both were really fun. First was  Ridge Lake and the Kendall Katwalk. With the first fresh snow of the season and clear skies it was a nice trip. The next day I did another of those trips that had been on my "to do" list for many years. The Walt Bailey Trail to Cutthroat Lakes and Bald Mountain is a gem. It was so cold that the meadows were frosted and looked snow covered. All the creeks  and lakes were frozen over. The scramble through some snow then open slopes to the top of Bald Mountain was a highlight of the year.

After just over a month without hiking I picked it up in late December. Although there was not much snow at the start, conditions became very good higher up on my trip to Kendall Peak Lakes . I had the area to myself most of the day. I returned to  Mt. Si via the Teneriffe Road for the first time in quite a few years. It's amazing to slog through snow to the top on Si and see almost nobody. The year ended, as almost always, with a New Years Eve hike up Tiger Mountain. That makes 19 times in the past 20 years. All in all, it was a very good year on the trails.

My Top 10 Trips of 2002
10. Fremont, Skyscraper, and Burroughs Mountains
09. Miller Peak
08. Mt. Tallac
07. Pipe Creek - Table Moutain
06. Bald Mountain
05. Rock Mountain
04. Navaho Peak
03. Iron Peak
02. Goat Island Mountain
01. Mt. Daniel Backpack