Year In Review
2008 was a good
hiking year. I did
have my first ever injury which kept me off the trail. I hobbled during
the early part of summer before getting back to some more challenging
trips. I had only 8 nights out backpacking but the 24 new trips I did
were the most in decades. After some 1400 trips it's hard to find a lot
of trails I have not yet been on. We had a very snowy winter and the
high country was late melting out. Flowers were good but not great. I
did keep up my streak of a winter/spring night on a Teanaway summit.
This year I had company. Kim joined me for another trip to Sun Valley
and the mountains of central Idaho. This year it was the White Clouds
instead of the Sawtooths. I only had one larch trip but it was a good
one. The year ended with a rush as I had a big November to reach goals
of 700 miles and 200,000' gained. I made it with zero miles and only
1,000' to spare.
The year began with a snowy hike up Dirty
Harry's Peak. Next came a new
trip off Highway 97. We snowshoed in tons of new snow up the ridge
Creek. Gusto's first trip in the snow. He loved it. I skied
to Windy Pass and it turned out to be the only ski trip of the year.
Kim and I hiked up to Wallace
Lake. Half the trip was on snow. Lastly
was a hike to Cougar
Mountain. More ice than I have ever seen in the
Low level snow and high avalanche danger led Suzanne and I to Oyster
Dome. Snow began before the parking lot. Lots of snow higher
Another snowshoe trip to Mt.
Catherine was successful. Now I'm two for
three. I made a second visit to Dungeness
Spit with a group of
nwhikers. There was lots of hotness. I have snowshoed up Mt. McCausland
twice but this time we went to nearby Lichtenberg
Mountain. The climb
to Lichtenwasser Lake was more difficult than necessary. After a wrong
turn we did find our way to the summit.
Another new trip was a loop around Tronsen
Ridge. Fun route finding and
nice views. Next was the first of a series of fire lookout snow trips.
I have been to Red Top
lookout in the summer via the short quarter mile
trail. This time we came in via the NF Teanaway Road. It was a long day
but well worth it. Sunshine, views, and 4200' of gain. Next was
Mountain. No sun, no views, half the distance of Red Top with
even more elevation gain. Teanaway
Butte was the last named bump in the
Teanaway Valley I had not yet been up. We solved that problem and added
Tarzan Butte as well. It's not worth a return but it was fun to get up
it. The last trip was North
Mountain just outside of Darrington. A
snowy road walk then cross country up the ridge. We were stopped near
the top as the small trees were nearly impassable.
I have been up Granite Mountain many times. For the first time I
Granite via the Pratt Lake Trail. Suzanne and I went up
West Rattlesnake Mountain. Over seven feet of snow west of North Bend.
Amazing! We tried out a new more direct route up Mt.
the road walk. The route worked but too much soft snow stopped us near
the false summit. Kim and I visited the Arboretum
in Seattle and
witnessed a bus stuck under a low overpass. I joined Kim, Janet, and
Kirsten on a trip to Black
Canyon east of the Cascades. Nice flowers.
Last was a backpacking trip to the summit of Iron
Peak. I managed to
fall into Bean Creek and bash my knee. It was a month before I could
walk normally. Getting down the mountain was a real chore.
After several weeks of hobbling around the house I joined Janet for a
trip to Duffy
Creek southeast of Wenatchee. It was over 100 degrees as
I managed 5 miles and 400' of gain. Kim, Alexi, and I took the back way
to the Whitechuck
Bench Trail, avoiding the missing bridge. We had a tough time
finding the trail before hiking several miles on it. A month after my
injury I tried another snow trek up Mt.
Ellinor. Fantastic glissade down. I was still much slower
than the others.
We returned to the Teanaway area for a snow trip up Esmerelda
Peak. Snow most all the way. Kim and I headed for an easier
snow free trip to Boulder
River. The waterfalls had plenty of water. I tried one more
long trip with lots of elevation to Miller
Peak via Highway 97. It was obvious I was not yet up to fast
hiking with the regular gang and I did not do any more trips with them
for most of the rest of the year. Janet and I did a gimp trip to Tronsen
Ridge Flowers were good though not as good as the year
before. Kim and I hiked up Mt.
Baldy on Kachess Ridge. As usual on this trail, we did not
see anyone else. The last trip of the month was to Crystal
Lakes. Still some snow at the lakes. Another first time trip
The month began with one of my favorite loops. Kim and I hiked up to
Bean Creek Basin then up and over Bean
Peak. We looped back via the Beverly Creek Trail. Pretty good
flowers all the way around. I found another way to Noble
Knob via the Dalles Ridge Trail. Much shorter than the Deep
Creek Trail I've taken several times. The antidote to a very hot day
was a visit to Rainbow
Lake. Snow around the lake and no people. I went back to Bandera
Mountain on a cloudy day and got above the clouds. Second
visit to the real summit. Terrific beargrass fields. Kim and I hiked to
Mountain lookout via Knox Creek. Very nice flower show.
August was mostly about Idaho. Kim and I drove over and spent nine
days. After a few days in Sun Valley we headed north. I planned another
Sawtooth adventure but a fire caused part of the route to be closed. We
improvised a trip to the White Clouds instead. It was terrific. First
was two nights at Big
Boulder Lakes. We camped at over 9000' and ventured up to
over 10,000'. Only one other group seen at the lakes before we hiked
out. On the way back we did a day hike to Born
Lakes. Fantastic country. I hope to visit again. Before the
long drive home we did one day hike out of Sun Valley. Pioneer
Cabin is an old ski cabin sitting at 9460'. Great views of
12000' peaks across the valley. The month ended with a two night trip
Lake. Not crowded on a Labor Day weekend. The month actually began with an overnight scramble of Bismark Peak. I had looked over to it from Mt. Aix a number of times. Fun scramble and zero other people.
I got out alone for a long day trip to Alta
Mountain and Rampart Lakes. It was so cloudy near the summit
I could not see much at all. I finally kocked off a trip I had planned
on for a number of years. Thunder
Mountain Lakes are as good as I hoped. Lots of scramble peaks
around the lakes. Gary and I finally got out together. We headed east
on a gloomy day to Navaho
Peak. Gary and I had one more long day to Mt.
David. Almost nobody else on the trail that day.
My larch trip this year was an overnighter. We headed up to Wing
Lake in the North Cascades. Turned out to be a lot more snow
than we expected. Crossing the boulder field on thin snow was an
adventure. It was cold and sunny on day one, dark and cloudy on day
two. Pretty good larch display. I finished the month on Mt.
Pilchuck. Much of the trail was on solid ice. Good views on
This was one of my best Novembers with seven excellent trips. Kim and I
returned to the Mt.
Lillian Loop but with some larch trees this time. We went for
Peak again before the trailhead is moved farther away.
Beautiful day with sun and fresh snow. Next Kim and I did a new trip on
Cady Ridge. More great views of Glacier Peak. It rained most
of the day on the Goat
Lake Trail but it was beautiful none the less. It was full on
winter on the way to Wright
Mountain. Snow from the parking lot. One last Teanaway trip
Peak. Windy on top but less snow than expected. Another brand
new trip was up to Squire
Creek Pass. Amazing views of Three Fingers.
One last snow free trip to the mountains. We hiked up Putrid
Pete's Peak then followed the ridge to Mt. Defiance. We
finished the loop via the old Mason Lake Trail. Snow fell on the
lowlands and getting out was tough for the rest of the month. I managed
a number of hikes in the Issaquah Alps and one ski trip at Snoqualmie
Pass. Four trips the last five days of the year allowed me to reach 700
miles and over 200,000' gained.
My Top 10 Trips Of 2008
01. Big Boulder Lakes, ID
02. Red Top Lookout
03. Iron Peak
04. Born Lakes, ID
05. Bismarck Peak
06. Lichtenberg Mountain
07. Thunder Mountain Lakes
08. Wing Lake
09. Wright Mountain
10. Evergreen Mountain