Year In Review
was good hiking year. I hiked 860 miles and 223,300' of
elevation gain. 2018 started off well and picked up steam as it went
along. I had a rare 20,000' gained February. Since I almost always do
more miles and elevation gain in the second half of the year I was very
pleased to by ahead of pace this year through June. By the end of
October I realized I could have a very very good year. November was my
fourth best mileage month and December was my best. December also broke
a 40 month streak of not having a 100 mile month. 105 in December broke
That big December brought me to 960 miles with 249,000; of elevation
gain. That is my second best mileage year and my third best elevation
gain year. So, just by the numbers this was a terrific year. Of course
there is quality as well as quantity to take into account. A return
trip to Huckleberry Mountain 28 years later as a highlight. We
backpacked and had a whole day to scramble to the old lookout site. I
had a couple excellent cross country ski trips. I even had a great
wildflower hike east of the Oakland in California. Another goal
pertains to new trips.
I aim for at least 10 new trails each year. I had a very good year for
trails with 21. I try to get in at least 10 new trails per year. Canyon
Lake Community Forest provided a new area and total solitude. Not a
single person seen. Some new trips were on trails I had hiked before
but with new or off trail sections.
Speaking of solitude, there are a lot of knew people in the Puget Sound
basin. Many of them go hiking. Once again I found many hikes without
crowds. Dozens of trips had me seeing nobody or just one or two groups
all day long. Weekend trips at the main trailheads on I-90 are crowded.
There are a whole lot of trails that are not. You just have to do a
This website continues to grow. I added 58 new trip reports
with photos this year. It
now has 816 trip reports
photos. I added 2,329 photos, an average of 40 per report. By year end
the site is just 3 months short of its 17th birthday. Time sure flies.
I do not set a specific goal for miles, elevation, summits, or nights
out backpacking each year. I just get out as often as possible. The one
exception is trying to reach 10,000' of elevation gain each month. This
is just an ongoing goal. If I do that it means I'm getting out often
and staying in good shape. My streak is now at 160 months and counting.
That is well over 13 years.
This was the ninth year I joined Gary, John, and David doing headlamp
hikes from October to April. I managed to make about three mid week
evening trips per month. Adding three trips per month for half the year
really adds to my mileage and does a great job breaking up the week.
It's also a whole lot of fun.
Last year was unusual in that I had very little variation from month to
month. My best to worst mileage months were only form 64 miles to 79
miles. This year was more normal My lowest month was 64 miles again but
the highest two were 105 and 97. The strange part is that my best
mileage and elevation gain month was December. Short dark days and lots
of rain and still I had by best month. In the last 9 days of the year I
hiked 53 miles with 15,300' of gain.
While 2017 was an above average year I hiked 100 more miles in 2018. My
104 trips was a record though it tied 2011 for days hiking as it had
more backpacking days.
Well enough of the old stuff. It's time to get down to a month by month
review. This adds a little more info for trip planning compared to just
reading my hiking log. Now it's time to get started with January of
The year started with a snowshoe trip to Kendall
Lakes with Gary and John.
Solitude was an unexpected plus. Next, we headed north to Blanchard
Hill. Two summits two lakes and
an unexpected new route. My last trip report was up East
Tiger Mountain with snow on top.
For the month I hiked 67 miles with 16,300' of
and I headed to Diamond
Head via Pipe Creek on
snowshoes. A beautiful sunny day. Gary and I skied up Amabillis
Mountain. It was a bit icy for
me. We added a hike up Cedar Butte on the way home. Avalanche danger
kept me on Tiger
2. Snow most of the way. For
the month I hiked 75 miles with 20,400' of gain.
joined Janet and Steve on a snowshoe trip to the Stafford
Lookout site in the Teanaway
Valley. I had been aware of Lord Hill
as a close in hiking area for many years. I finally went there and did
an 8 mile hike. Lots of varied terrain. I will be back.
Gary and John joined me for a ski/snowshoe trip to Mazama
Ridge at Mt. Rainier. A bright
sunny day. Gwen and I headed to Chuckanut Mt. near Bellingham. A big
running race ended those plans. We improvised with a hike at Whatcom
Falls and another at Lookout Mt.
Forest. Two new trips in one day. I joined Janet for a trip to near
Yakima. We took a different trail to intersect the Yakima
Trail. A beautiful sunny March
day. One last trip report to East
Tiger Mountain again with fresh
snow. I hiked 73
miles with 16,300' of gain.
My first trip report had wildflowers on Cougar
Mountain. Next I hiked 15 miles
the Water Tower Loop included. Kim and I headed to Chuckanut Mt. for my
first trip to Fragrance
Lake and then on to the Rock
Trail. My last trip report was another
trip, this time with a longer loop. For the month I hiked 71 miles with
15,000' of elevation gain.
I visited my brother in the Bay Area. We hiked the Twin
on Mt. Diablo. Lots of familiar and unfamiliar wildflowers. Very
colorful. I made another visit to Exclamation
Point Rock. This time Gwen came
along. More wildflowers. Gwenk Kim,
and I did two new hikes for me. Kukatali
and Craft Island were short and
scenic hikes. At the end of the
month I finally hiked up a bigger mountain at Navaho
4200' of gain. For the month I hiked 64 miles with
Gary, John, and I drove east for a long day hiking the Devil's
Mission Ridge Loop. 17 miles
with 3800' of gain. We found there was
a running race going on. Lots of company. Kim and I hiked the new Granite
I like the new section at the bottom. The road to the Canyon
Forest is washed out. An
alternative road is gated. I figured out
how to get there. Total solitude, a lake, waterfalls, and zero people.
I will be back. Gary, John, and I headed to Mt. Rainier for a hike to Shriner
We also took a detour to other views. The month ended with a loop trip
in the Teanaway on the DeRoux-Esmerelda
Loop. Great wildflowers, a lake,
and a new trail section. I hiked
97 miles with 25,100' of elevation gain.
Kim took me for my first hike on the Blue Creek Trail to Red
A sunny day with wildflowers and the lookout. Gwen joined me for my
almost every year Bean
hike. Good wildflowers and summit views. Sourdough
Lookout in North Cascades NP is
a steep hike gaining 5200'. A hot
but fun day. A group of us went to the Sunrise area on Mt. Rainier.
Another first time hike for me to Palisades
Brown Peak, & Slide Peak. Great high ridge walk. Several years
Gary, John, and I planned a big loop hike to Crystal Peak, Deadwood
Lakes, and Crystal Lake. Smoke
caused us to turn around. In 2016
Gary and I did the trip. This year John was available and we did it
again. This time we went in the opposite direction. A great hike. For
the month I hiked 80
miles 23,000' of elevation gain.
Gary and I did another loop. This time to Melakwa
Lakes and Pratt Lake. Gary,
John, and I did another hike to Banshee
Mt. Rainier. Flowers were past peak but less crowded than usual. Gwen
and I did another Mt. Rainier favorite, the Spray
Fun trip though flowers were almost down. Forest fire smoke was really
bad so I chose to hike through the Snoqualmie
Tunnel under Snoqualmie Pass. I
picked the weekend a big geocaching
group was hiking through the tunnel. Quite a crowd. I did avoid most of
the smoke. More awful smoke and I headed to Dash
Point State Park
and avoided it. I found 8 miles of trails. For the month I
79 miles with 19,300' of elevation gain.
I hiked the Huckleberry
Mountain Trail in 1990. 28 years
later I returned with Gary and
John for a three day backpacking trip. Zero people seen. We reached the
lookout site and then on to Boulder Peak. A terrific Labor Day Weekend.
I returned to the Suiattle River Valley with Kim for a hike up Green
Mountain. A day in
the clouds. Interesting fall colors with muted light. Very cold on the
summit. Another great trip. The first headlamp hike of the season was
Harry's Peak. Our first time on
the new Dirty Harry's Balcony Trail
the on the old but groomed trail to the summit. The month ended with a
great trip to Alta Mountain
& Rampart Lakes with
Gary. Lakes, views, and fall colors with
4200' of gain. For the month I hiked 78
miles with 28,000' of elevation gain.
October began with our annual larch hike to Ingalls
The larch trees were a little before their peak but were still good.
Next, I headed to Mt.
Dickerman. I met Elle on the way
up and we hiked together. I did
another often hiked trip to Wallace
Falls & Lake. Terrific
mushroom hike. A temperature inversion
sent my up high to the Kendall
Katwalk & Ridge Lake.
Warm and sunny day with some good
fall color hanging on. Lake 22
is an easy hike. I had a clear day but cold. The last trip of the month
was my second trip this year to Exclamation
Point Rock. This time Kim came
along. I knew there were some larch
trees and they were right near their peak. I hiked 86 miles
the month with
22,100' of elevation gain.
I wrote four trip reports in November. First was another annual trip to
It was partly frozen with snow around it. Another beautiful hike. Kim
and I headed to Darrington for two hikes. First on the Whitechuck
Bench Trail then the Old Sauk
Trail. Another amazing mushroom trip.
They were much better than usual this fall. 17 miles was my longest day
hike of the year. The second of three was this one to West
Rattlesnake Mountain. Taking the
road route made it long and with
near total solitude. My last trip report was for Umtanum
My 21 year old Subaru Outback was replaced with a much newer Mitsubishi
Outlander. My first long drive was in a rainstorm that lasted for 100
miles. The hike was great. We avoided the heavy rain to the west. A new
trial section was done as we went cross country. For
the month I hiked 85 miles with 18,900' of elevation gain.
As stated earlier December was by biggest month of the year. Most days
hiked with 11. Most miles with 105. Most elevation gain with 29,200'.
Seven trip reports were also a yearly high. First was Mt.
Fresh snow flocked all the trees but was not deep enough to slow my
down much. In 2011 we did an awful headlamp hike to the Tiger
Mountain Christmas Tree. It
sleeted all the way back as we hiked
through deep slush. This year we repeated the trip with perfect
did a first
on Tiger Mt. I had hiked all the trails but never in one trip.
first of four Tiger hikes in the last 10 days of the year.
On Christmas morning I hiked up Mt.
Si. Very icy near the top with
fresh snow. A beautiful morning.
Gary and John joined me for a one way hike on Tiger
Mt. going over T1, T2,
& T3. On the next to last day of
the year. I did an easy hike on Tiger.
Only 6 miles. I have hiked on Tiger Mountain for 35 of the past 36 New
Year's Eves. This year Gary and John joined me for a long 17 mile trip
on the Tiger
from S to N. A rare sunny NYE. The late push really ran up the miles
for December. For the month I hiked 105 miles with
29,200' of elevation gain.
My Top 10 Trips
02. Palisades Lake
03. Ingalls Lake
04. Sourdough Lookout
05. Devil's Gulch Loop
06. Deadwood Lakes
07. Alta Mountain
- Rampart Lakes
09. Twin Peaks, CA
10. Bean Peak Loop