The Year In Review
2005 was a great hiking year. I traveled 718 miles
gaining 201,200'. This was the third consecutive year I reached
200,000', though just barely. I had four backpacking trips. Two
four day trips were outstanding. I aim for 10 or more new trips
per year and I had exactly 10 this year. Seventy total days on the
trail was one day more than the previous year. I finally made it up
Kaleetan Peak. It had been near the top of my scramble list for
a decade. Grindstone Mountain was another scramble I had been meaning
to do for years. August was a big disappointment as I missed three
weekends. That meant scrapping planned hiking trips to Colorado and
Idaho. Perhaps I can get there in 2006. I finally made it to The Enchantments.
It was at the top of my backpacking list for many years. We had near
We had virtually no winter so I was hiking on
dirt in January and February. Consequently, there was very little
skiing or snowshoeing. I did manage to get in a rare winter backpack
and had a spectacular sunset from 6500' on the summit of Iron Peak.
Now on to a month by month recap.
The year began with a ski trip to
and beyond. It was bitterly cold but the snow
was good. Little did we know that there would be only two more
ski trips for the season. I missed the next three weeks with a
bad case of the flu. The month ended with a hike to
. The amazing thing is that there was only a few
snow patches. There should have been five or six feet of snow.
Suzanne joined me for a mid week hike up
. There was only a tiny bit of snow near the summit.
I was quickly down to short sleeves. On the way down we passed
a hiker coming up wearing shorts and no shirt. This is February
in the mountains? Next was my longest day hike of the year. I rambled
West Rattlesnake Mountain
on a thin coating of fresh snow for 20 miles. A trip
to Mazama Ridge was the next to last ski trip of the year. Gary
came along. The snow was thin on the road but excellent up on the ridge.
The month ended with a terrific winter backpacking trip to the summit
. Sunset and sunrise were great from 6500'. It was
mighty cold that night.
The month began with another trip which should have
been a long snowshoe trip. Instead our hike up
was mostly snow free. At 6000' the ground was bare.
I went on a Mountaineer hike that turned into quite a trip. I had
read about the Moon Wall near Mt. Si. We followed road then bushwhacked
to a long abandoned road to the
. On the way back we ended up taking the long way. 19
miles later we came out with headlamps. Bernadette and I hiked to
. No crowds at all. We snowshoed straight down from the
ridge. The first quarter ended with my first visit to
. Nice trails, good views, and several lakes.
We finally got the first real snow dump in many months.
Suzanne and I did a snowshoe scramble of
. There was several feet of snow over no base. The snowshoe
postholing was comical coming down. Nice views. Suzanne, B, and I
. It was my first time up.
I had a long day on the
Mission Ridge-Devils Gulch Loop
. I had done both ends before but never the middle and
a full loop. Few people were out. I did see my first Tweedy's Lewisia
in many years. I met the Trail Pair and wildernessed for a snow scramble
up Esmerelda Peak. Nice folks and a nice trip. Suzanne joined me for
a flower hike up
. The cacti were done but the bitterroot were out in force.
Unfortunately, Sadie brought home many ticks. Gary and I got out for
an after work
up the Iron Horse trail, through the tunnel and down the
old highway. It was a really fun 35 mile loop. The month ended with
a loop trip to Twin Lakes, up
, and out via Windy Pass.
had long been on my scramble "to do" list. Gary and I had
a great time. Route finding was fun but I had many deep postholes.
I would love to return. I did return to
Bootjack and Highchair Mountains
with the Mountaineers. The ridge scramble is a blast. Due
to a few wayward members several of us hiked back towards Highchair
while searching. This turned a long day into a longer one. The 6400'
in one day is the most I have done.
I did the Bean Peak Loop clockwise. Great flowers in Beverly
and Bean Creek Basins. I ran into Terry Schwartz on the summit of Bean
Peak. Rain all over the Cascades but sun in the Teanaway. Gary and
I did a Teanaway overnighter. We summited
Bill, Teanaway, Iron, and Bean Peaks
in a loop trip. Four summits and great flowers. After reading
a report about a close in lookout I hiked the road to the
. I had no views with clouds and drizzle on top. The lookout
is in surprisingly good shape.
is the scramble that I have meant to do for the longest time.
This year I finally did it. Suzanne joined me and even her dog Sadie
summited. Very hot day and great views from the top. The month ended
with one of the best backpack trips I have ever done. Gary joined me
for a four day 45 mile
Buck Creek-Spider Meadow Loop
. We saw few people, had long ridge walks, scrambled summits,
visited a lookout, and had great weather. This was my best month
with 98 miles and 33,800' gained.
Three weekends were lost to hiking. This should have been
a great month but all I managed was a hike up Granite Mountain and
one to Rainbow Lake via Talapus Lake.
Things picked up again. I hiked the new trail to Wallace
Lake added Jay Lake and looped out via Wallace Falls. Gary and I had
both been to Gothic Basin a number of times. Neither of us had been up
. The scramble was more interesting since neither of us were
sure of the route. It all went well. Very impressive views form the
top. Blueberries were ripe and fall colors were beginning as I scrambled
and hiked over to Ridge Lake. The month ended with the best
backpacking trip I have ever been on. The
have been at the top of my list for a decade or more. Thanks
to Suzanne and Kelly for the invitation. The weather was perfect. The
larch were at their peak. The four days went by all too fast.
Suzanne, Gary, and I had a good larch trip to
Lake Ann and Fortune Peak
. Good weather and near peaking larch. Fun scramble up and
down Fortune Peak. Late in October I hiked up
. It was near 65 degrees back at Mason Lake as I laid around
in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. A week later things changed dramatically.
I hiked up
and hit snow just above the PCT. The summit ridge climb was
all on snow. It was about 35 degrees colder than the privious weekend.
Snow fell fast and deep in early November. Gary and I headed
out to Mt.
. The parking lot was snow covered as well as the trail. It
soon was deep enough for snowshoes and soon almost too deep. We struggled
along until reinforcements arrived. George and Susan Olson joined in.
We did not summit but made it high on the mountain. Suzanne and I tried
next with similar results. A GPS unit kept us on course in
the deep snow. We ran out of time and energy within about 400' of the
summit. I joined Richard and Jeff for a snowshoe trip up
. Seattle was smoggy and cold under an inversion layer while
we were sunny and warm on top. Suzanne and I had one final snowshoe
. Neither of us had done this trip. Thankfully several other
groups had the same idea and helped break trail. We slogged through
deep snow much of the day. We made it to within a few hundred feet of
the summit but conditions were unstable enough for me to pass on a shot
at the top. It was still a great day in the mountains. Gary and I ended
the month with a ski trip up to Windy Pass.
The snow was good for several ski trips early in the month.
I skied 14 miles down the Iron Horse Trail. Next was a return to
and then a hike up Cedar Butte on the way home. The snow suddenly
stopped and began to melt away. With crummy conditions in the Cascades
I began to concentrate on closer trails. My lousy August just about
precluded any chance of getting a third consecutive 200,000' year. Still,
by mid December I was within about 12,000'. I needed 11,500' more after
Christmas. Gary and I did a one way hike across Tiger Mountain gaining
4200'. After that I decided to go for it. In the last 6 days I gained
12,700' and reached my goal.
2005 turned out to be a great year. The Enchantment and Spider-Buck
Creek backpacking trips were among the best ever. I had a nice balance
between day hikes, scramble summits, backpacks, and lakes. The flower
show was among the best I have ever seen. The summer was warm and dry.
I hope 2006 turns out to be just as good.
My Top 10 Trips of 2005
Buck Creek - Spider Meadow
Lake Ann - Fortune Peak
Bill, Teanaway, Iron, and Bean Peaks