The Year In Review

2010 was a very difficult year for me personally. Getting out on the trail was more important than ever. When I did get out it was often for half a day and/or close to Seattle. Things improved late in the year and September and October were my best months by far. Backpacking was way down though the four trips I  did were all excellent. Thanks to a number of after work mid week hikes my total days out was my second highest at 94 days. The average of 8.66 miles per day was among the lowest. I hiked 16 new trails, a very good number. I also made another trip to Sun Valley to visit my brother. Five days of hiking included a very good three day backpacking trip in the Sawtooths. I did a solo scramble up 10,053' Glens Peak.

We did not have much winter though when snow finally came in April it hung around until summer. For the first time in many years I did not do a spring snow scramble in the Teanaway. I hope to get back on track in 2011. Way too many trips off I-90 west of North Bend. That too I hope to fix this coming year. Now onto a month by month review and my top 10 trips of the year.

The year got off to a good start as I did 8 trips for the month. Snowshoe trips up Mt. Catherine and Norse Peak Ridge plus a ski trip to Windy Pass were snowy highlights. I joined a clean up effort to Explorer Falls. I hiked on to Echo Lake a number of times in the distant past. An attempt was thwarted by numerous new logging roads and clear cuts. I made a second and longer venture to Taylor Mountain and took a completely new route to East Tiger via Silent Swamp with a stop at Sally's Summit.

The month started with a gray day and few people on the trail to Oyster Dome. Not even a trace of snow. Next was one of my few backpacking trips. Bright sunshine at Artist's Point then a day trip to Lake Ann. Snow from the parking lot on. I hike up to Lake 22 to find almost no snow even at the back of the lake. This is February? Last was a desert hike to Umtanum Canyon with Janet.

We crashed a snowmobilers convention on a sunny day at Park Butte Lookout. Fantastic views from the top. I did a new trip with Gary & John off of Highway 410. We hiked up Ranger Creek and summited Point 5781 in a white cloudy haze. I headed up the NF Snoqualmie River to make a first visit to Fuller Mountain. A close in hike I had planned on doing for decades. The temperature reached 67 degrees when Kim joined me for a loop of Wallace Falls and Lake. The month ended with a successful snow ascent of Mt. Higgins. My second winter success along with two failures.

This was a poor hiking month. Gary and I skied to Kendall Lakes, my second and last ski trip of the year. I made two explorations of the Big Spruce Trail (2) along the MF Snoqualmie River. Last was a fun off trail/abandoned trail trip to Jester Mountain. Half dirt and half snowshoes.

A trip east to the Leavenworth area brought a new trip, Tibbets Mountain. Lots of spring wildflowers. Next, I returned to Twin Fall Lake for the first time in  20 years. Pretty quiet beyond Ashland Lakes. Janet and I headed east to near Ellensburg for a mostly driving trip with a short hike. Great flowers at Whiskey Dick and Reecer Creek.

I made a return visit to Squak Mountain after a gap of 28 years. The longest time ever between visits. I took Gary up to the beacon and beyond on Kachess Ridge. I saw only a few groups on a nice trip to Granite Lakes. Leaving, I passed 52 cars at the nearby Mailbox Peak lot. Next was a rare new Teanaway trail as Janet and Kim joined me for a part of Teanaway Ridge I had not been on. A long hard snowy trip to Three Brothers and Navaho Peak was partly on snow near the end of June. The last trip was a solo jaunt to Glacier Basin near Monte Cristo. Beyond town I had the trail to myself. Lots of snow in the basin.

A return visit to Oyster Dome. First time in summer. A new trail and lots of wildflowers. Tronsen Ridge has become a summer staple. Great wildflowers once again. Speaking of annual visits, I made my usual visit to Rainbow and Blazer Lakes. My second backpacking trip was a first time visit to Benchmark Mountain. Bob, Kolleen, and I camped on the summit. Loose soil and strong winds led to a tent collapse during the night. Great views from camp. Another new trip was just northwest of Mt. Rainier. Bearhead Mountain and Summit Lake on a hot day with lots of avalanche lilies in bloom. The month ended with a third consecutive new trip. Bob, Kolleen, and I headed north to Anderson Butte and Watson Lakes. Still some snow and some nice views.

Janet tested her new knees with an 11 mile hike across Grand Park. Flowers past peak but still some good color. I made a return visit to Summerland/Banshee Peak at Mt. Rainier. Few flowers but much more snow than on my previous visit. I missed the Teanaway in the spring but came back in summer for an old favorite. Up to Iron Peak then down and over to Bean Peak and around the loop. Next I took the PCT up to Kendall Peak and on to Ridge Lake. The usual summer crowds. The month ended with a group trip up the Walt Bailey Trail to Bald Mountain.

The month began with a trip to Sun Valley, Idaho. My first hike was to help acclimatize to the high elevation. It was up a second consecutive Bald Mountain. This one is 4300' higher. My Sawtooth backpacking trip included some old favorite trails and some new ones. Scrambling Glens Peak was the highlight. I had the usual post Labor Day solitude. Another visit to Mt. David proved to be one of the highlights of the year. Great color, clear sky, and another off trail section. Many more people than I've ever seen on this trail. The month ended with an after work hike up Mt. Pilchuck. The clouds below were the best part.

The month began with a fantastic larch trip. Cutthroat Pass/Snowy Lakes featured short sleeves heat, clear sky, and golden larch. My last backpacking trip of the year and a new trip for me. A dark damp day proved perfect for a return visit to the Lime Kiln Trail, this time with Kim. Short days made a 16 mile trip to Skyscraper Mountain a challenge to do in daylight. Great solitude and weather. Near the end of the month Janet and I squeezed in one more Teanaway scramble to Earl Peak. Cool on top and some late fall color.

I managed to get in 7 trips but almost all of them were close to Seattle. I was too busy with life to get very far away. I did get up to Annette Lake but did not find time to write a report. The only interesting report for the whole month was a snowshoe trip up the Mt. Teneriffe Road that did not quite make it to the summit of Mt. Si. Not much of a month.

I finished the year with 9 trips in December. Most were close in but I did get out of Western Washington for a few. Stafford Lookout in the Teanaway was all the way on snow. Total solitude, not even any snowmobiles. On a nearby visit to Cougar Mountain I did go exploring a trail abandoned over a decade ago. I managed to follow it all the way partly on memory. A very short hike was a trip to Robe Canyon. The SF Stillaguamish was going crazy and I added to my flood photos and movies. Janet and I went east for a snowshoe trip to Hex Mountain. My second snowshoe trip there. The year ended, as do nearly all, with a trip on Tiger Mountain. This tradition is more than a quarter century old.

 My Top 10 Trips Of 2010
01. Sawtooth Traverse, ID
02. Cutthroad Pass - Snowy Lakes
03. Benchmark Mountain
Artist's Point - Lake Ann
05. Mt. David
06. Skyscraper Mountain
07. Park Butte Lookout
08. Glacier Basin
09. Three Brothers - Navaho Peak
10. Jester Mountain

All Trips - 2010