Year In Review
2009 was not an
year. The economy sucked. Business was awful. Running a business was
stressful. I managed to tweak the same knee I had hurt badly the year
before. My Subaru
died and the
second engine was bad. Number three seems to be working. Major health
problems in my family. All in all, not a banner year. The only item on
the plus side of the ledger was hiking. In that one regard it was a
very good year. I managed to get out on 82 trips with 774 miles hiked,
209,600' gained, 21 new hikes, 11 nights in the backcountry, and over
90 days on the trail. I also made another trip to visit my brother in
Sun Valley and spent much of the time hiking and backpacking. Gary
joined me on that trip. One of the highlights was fullfilling a plan
Kim hatched a few years earlier. We biked the closed Suiattle Road in
2007 stopping to search for the old Green Mountain trailhead. We found
two outhouses and planned on hiking the old trail. This year Randy
joined as we hiked from the Suiattle road all the way to the summit and
camped in the upper meadows on snow.
My bad knee kept my hikes shorter with minimal elevation gain the first
half of the year. The second half I picked up the pace significantly.
Six consecutive months of over 20,000' of gain tied my longest streak
ever. It ended in December but not by much. I also had another summit
snow camp on a Teanaway peak and a second backpacking trip to the
Pasayten. Yes, while everything else was lousy it was a good year
The year began with a one way hike across Rattlesnake
This was a big low level snow year and we were on snow nearly all the
way. Next came my only cross country ski trip of the year, to Windy
Pass. A low elevation hike to Wallace
was only half way on snow. Six of us snowshoed to Mt. McCausland a
winter favorite. It was my third winter visit. The last trip of the
month was a long 16 mile hike to Grand Prospect on Rattlesnake
Mountain via the road system.
My long and expensive car problems hit in February and Janet and Kim
joined me on a "forget your problems" trip to Central Washington. We
camped on snow in well below freezing temperatures at Steamboat Rock
and hiked up Northrup
Canyon. Barry, Suzanne, and Opus joined me for my second and
their first winter ascent of Red
Mountain near Salmon La Sac. A steep snowshoe climb and limit
views like my first visit. Kim and I went to Oyster
Dome. My third visit and one I will do on a regular basis. An
all guys trip to Arrowhead
Mountain had rock hard snow down low and deep stuff up high.
The month ended with another winter try at Mt.
Higgins. My second failure in three winter trys. We came
Gary and I snowshoed up Mt.
Washington. Kim and I made a winter visit to the Teanaway
Valley snowshoeing up Pt.
3784 near Standup Creek. That was it except for easy close in
trips. My knee was too sore to do much distance or elevation.
A return trip to Welcome
started off the month. Steep and short with stunning North Cascade
views. On a drizzly cloudy day I did a 12 mile slog up roads to Calligan
above the NF Snoqualmie River. I had not been there in over a decade.
Next came another brand new area. Kim took me along on a trip to White
along the Columbia River in Central Washington. We stopped at Ginko
Petrified Forest on the way back. An after work hike to nearby Poo
Poo Point had blooming trillium, paragliders, and 70 degrees.
I joined Janet and Kim on a trip to Swakane
Canyon near Wenatchee. Lots of wildflowers. The knee was
still a problem as I finished the month with two easy trails in one
Lake and the Old Sauk Trail.
Janet, Kirsten, and I did an easy hike to Whiskey
Dick Mountain. Amazing profusion of blooming cacti. Next Gary
and I did a winter backpacking trip to the summit of Iron
Peak. Nice sunset. Kim and I did four trips in three days
over Memorial Day. Driveway
Butte had flowers, snow, a big burn, and a nice summit. We
did a little of the Monument
Creek & Methow River Trails. The last day we hiked up
Trail through a burn to a great waterfall in a gorge. The
month ended with a new trip with Joey. His scramble route up to the Kachess
Beacon and beyond was a nice easy scramble.
A long 17 mile road walk to Airplane
Lake near Sultan was tied for my longest day of the year. A
return to the Teanaway took us up to Medra Pass and on to Koppen
Mountain. A visit to Tronsen
Ridge for the second year in a row again provided spectacular
wildflowers. We returned to the Teanaway for a scramble of Bill's
Peak. Not much snow left. The month ended with that
spectacular trip to Green
We biked down the road on Friday evening. Saturday we hiked the lower
Green Mountain Trail which has been abandoned for some 50 years. We
camped in the snow covered meadow and summited before dark.
We drove east for the Fourth Of July weekend for three days in the
Pasayten at Horseshoe
Awful bugs and lots of heat. Day 2 we did 17 miles summiting Haig
Mountain and Baureman Ridge. Lots of flowers and summits. Kim and I had
great flowers and a scramble of Bean
Peak. Gary made his first visit to the real summit of Bandera
Mountain. Great beargrass. I visited Summerland and
Panhandle Gap in 2004. This time I returned and added Banshee
Peak. A beautiful day. The month concluded with a backpacking
trip to Monogram
Lake. Heat, bugs, and pouring rain gave Kim and I an
After several years I made it back to Blazer
Lake and brushed out the abandoned trail. Gary and I
near Mt. Rainier. The rest of the month was taken up with a trip to
Idaho with Gary. We did a warm up hike to High Ridge first. Then it was
off for a four day traverse of the Sawtooth
Most of the first three days were on trails new to me. We scrambled
10,716' Mt. Cramer. Lakes, peaks, a boat ride, and very few people.
Just plain stunning country. We finished off the trip with a hike to Norton
Lakes and just short of the summit of Norton Peak. 10,200'
was not too bad.
We went looking for the NWhikers Traveling Summit Register on Crytstal
King Mountain above Crystal Mountain ski area. We hit three
summits and found no reigister. I returned to Blazer
Lake for some excellent fall color. Lastly was a trip to Alta
Mountain. More fiery fall colors and a summit cairn that is
more than 7' tall now.
I had a crystal clear day on top of Mt.
Dickerman with fresh snow on surrounding peaks. Gary and I
did an after work hike up to Cutthroat Lakes and Bald
The road had been out for several years. We returned right at dark.
Another visit to Ingalls Lake provided a long day of photographing
golden larch trees. I also had a third visit to "New
Trail". Word is that funds have been found to build a
trailhead in 2010. I'll post info on the trail once it is officially
I took one final trip to the Teanaway. A nice loop up and over Navaho
Peak. Clear sky and larch trees still golden. The first
snowshoe trip of the season was to Mt.
Pilchuck. Snow on the road below the parking lot. I hiked to East
Rattlesnake Mountain via the Ledges. My first time up and
down this route in a decade. Snow on top. The month ended with my first
visit to Taylor
Mountain. I have lots more to see there.
I returned to Wallace
A nice day turned into a wild afternoon as a very strong wind had
branches breaking off and trees bending way too far. I
two low peaks near North Bend, Little
Si & Cedar Butte. The year ended, as always, on Tiger
Mountain with a one way trip over two summits.
My Top 10 Trips Of 2009