Year In Review
2018 closed very strong. I averaged
92 miles per month in the fourth quarter. 105 miles in December was my
highest month in over three years. 29,200' of gain in December
was the highest of the year. After a 960 mile year I planned to hike a
little less in 2019. The fourth quarter momentum carried over into the
new year. By the end of May I reached 1003 miles over the previous
months. That was only the third time in over 37 years that I have
reached 1000 miles in 12 months. After that I did slow down a little.
Late in the
year family health and work requirements contributed to only 51 miles
in October. That was the lowest mileage month since 51 miles in June
2015, a span of 40 months. I picked up the pace in December with my
best mileage and elevation month of the year with 94 and 23,600'.
That makes two years in a row where December had the highest
mileage and elevation gain. Bad weather and short days should
When the dust settled I hiked 910 miles with 230,200' of gain. Another
excellent year. By the numbers that is my tenth consecutive year over
800 miles and my seventeenth consecutive year over 200,000' of
elevation gain. I have been consistent. Now that I have passed the six
decade mark my hiking seems to be just as strong as ever even if I am
not quite there any more.
I aim for at least 10 new trails each year. I have been in the high
teens and even low twenties the past couple decades. This year was
harder. An 11-30 hike on the new Garfield Ledges Trail brought me to
exactly ten new trips. My poorest year in decades but I did reach ten
once again. Averaging abut 14 per year for the last decade that is
about 140 new trails in that time. After 37 1/2 years it is not easy to
get to new trails.
The big population increase, many of them younger, has meant many more
folks on the trail. Once again a large number of my trips had a lot of
solitude. I had a lot more hikes where I saw 2-10 people than dozens or
hundreds. I even had quite a few where I did not see a single person
all day. There are still a lot of trails that have not been
popularized. I have also hiked a number of old abandoned roads
that are unknown to the mass of hikers. I don't mind seeing folks on
the trail but I do plan to avoid the real crowds. Speaking of hiking
trips, this was my second consecutive year with over 100 trips. My
total of 102 was two less than in 2018 and only my third 100+ year ever.
This website continues to grow. I added 55 new trip reports
with photos this year. It
now has 871 trip reports
photos. I added 2,234 photos, an average of 40 per report. By year end
the site is just 3 months short of its 18th 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 172 months and counting.
That is well over 14 years.
This was the tenth 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.
My one disappointment in 2019 was only getting in one backpacking trip.
The last two years have been poor. The one trip we did was a blast. I
did a different trip on Meadow
Mountain with Kim in 2007. That one was great. So was this one. At
least this one was four days long and not just an overnighter.
Well, enough of the old stuff. It's time to get down to a month by
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
I hiked 10 days in January. Six close in trips and four that
merited trip reports. The first trip of the year was to Blanchard Hill
& Oyster Dome. That has become a winter favorite. A snow free
trip with a lot of solitude. Next, Janet joined me for a snowshoe trip
up Diamond Head.
Views above the clouds. Five of us headed to Nordic Pass and met David
Baxter who also jointed us. Less than ideal snow but enough. My
last trip report was for Chuckanut
Mountain. A loop trip down the Rock Trail. For the month I
hiked 86 miles with 21,100' of elevation gain.
In February I had five trips with trip reports plus a trip
report for the new tunnel under Seattle and the Alaskan Way Viaduct
before it was demolished. First was the tunnel &
viaduct. A chanced to walk the new tunnel and say goodbye to the
old viaduct. Next was a rare report for Tiger Mountain. Snow almost the
entire trip. The next day Seattle was hit by a big snowstorm. My
next report was in Seattle. I took advantage of the snow to do a 5 mile
ski trip through
NW Seattle. With snow hanging around, I did reports for two close
in hikes. First 12 miles on Grand Ridge
Mountain. Even the low elevation hikes were on snow. My last trip
report was for Margaret's
Way with a stop at Central Peak. For the month I hiked 67 miles
with 16,800' of gain.
I started the month
with a 10 mile snowshoe trip to Kelcema Lake. My
first visit in several decades. Good snow and few people. The next week
I went back
with Gwen. Sunnier but very soft snow. We did not quite reach the lake.
A trip to Grand
Prospect was on snow all the way. I returned to Taylor Mountain and
found several new trails. My last trip report was for Wallace
& Jay Lakes. I went up and down the road and made for a long 17
mile day. I hiked 10 days this month adding up to a second best 92
miles with 18,700' of gain. That is a very big March for me.
Four of my eight trip in April have trip reports. The first
10 mile Cougar
Mountain hike with lots of early wildflowers. Next was a
short hike on Tiger.
It ended with my car's alternator dead. I had to
be towed to Issaquah for repairs. My next report is for a trip I saw 30
years earlier in the book "Footsore". I road walked to an old lookout
site on Frailey
above the NF Stillaguamish Valley. I reached the tower and continued to
the real summit. My last trip report was for a trip to Sage Hills near
Wenatchee with Janet and Steve. Really spectacular wildflower display.
For the month I hiked 67 miles with 15,400' of gain.
I had five trip reports out of nine trips in May. The first was a
return hike on the Westberg Trail
to the observatory. Some good wildflowers and views. Few folks seen
beyond the ridge top. I took the Boy Scout Trail on the way down for
first time. Next came another trip to Exclamation
Point Rock. John's first visit and Gary's second. Hot day with
wildflowers and no people. I wanted a lot of elevation gain and
returned to South
Bessemer Mountain for the first time in a dozen years. Snow the
last mile. More solitude and 4100' of gain. I did a second loop trip to
and the Rock Trail. A really fun day. Lastly was another trip to Lake 22. I get there almost
every year. 7:30 am at the trailhead got me the last parking spot.
Beautiful day. For the month I hiked 81 miles with
Eight our of nine trips had trip reports. My favorite's included Iron &
Jester Peaks. A good windflower show. I stayed in town to walk the Seattle
waterfront and document the viaduct demolition. Gary and I did a
double scramble of Bean and Earl
Peaks. Kim and I did Thunder
Creek and Knob. My first hike of Thunder Knob. I did two hikes to Little St.
Helens another first time trip. Spectacular beargrass trip.
I hiked 73 miles with 18,500' of elevation gain.
Warm mid summer of a smoke free year and I did a yearly low of only
five trips. One was a four day backpacking trip. Four have trip
reports. First was Mt. Aix
with Gary & John. I did it with Gwen in 2013. Gary and I did it in
2002, the first year of this website. A great trip I have not done as
often as I should. It is a long drive and a long hike with 4500' of
gain. Gary, John, and I had a great time. We took the shortcut route up
and the old route down. We saw only a couple groups all day long. Next
was a real favorite. A loop trip up Iron Peak
then up and over Bean Peak. Really good wildflower display. My one
backpacking trip was to Meadow
Mountain. Great weather. My first visit since 2007 though by a
different route. Great views, a lake, and few people for a mid summer
trip. Lastly, Kim and I went to Thorp Mountain and Lake.
Good wildflowers and great summit views. My first visit to the lake.
For July I hiked 74 miles with 23,300' of gain.
The month had 9 trips and 6 had trip reports. Gary and I did a trip I
have planned for several decades. Somehow I never managed to do it. Trappers Peak
is a great scramble. it includes a high in the sky ridge walk and then
terrific views of North Cascades peaks. Kim and I hiked to Crystal Lakes
and up to the ridge. A very misty day. I made my second visit to Thompson Lake.
It is unusual to gain 4200' on a lake hike. Kim and I visited Monte
Cristo. My first trip since the superfund clean up. We found a bit of
the old railroad grade too. My last trip report was for Janus Lake and
beyond. Very few folks seen on the PCT on a summer weekend. For August
I hiked 80 miles with 21,700' of gain.
I only did six hikes and only three warranted trip reports. Life
started to interfere with hiking. Gary joined me for a Wallace
Falls and Lakes trip. I get this trip in most years. Next came a
trip with Gary to Mt.
David. It is a real favorite. One we planned the last few years but
did not get done. A long drive followed by 14 miles with 5800' of gain
is challenging. Even at our advancing ages we did fine. The ridge walk
is one of the best. Last was a trip up West
Rattlesnake Mountain from Highway 18. The long way to do it. Near
total solitude on this 17 mile hike. Since I did not get in many hikes
I wanted a long one. For the month I hiked 71 miles with 17,900'
Life really got in the way this month. A forty month low for miles
hiked. I did six hikes and four have trip reports. Two of them made my
top ten. Kim and I spent a day hiking at Lord Hill. Just my
second visit. Gwen and I headed north to Easy Pass. Some golden
larch at the pass with great mountain views. A fraction of the crowds
at nearby Maple Pass. I managed to get sick for the first time in quite
a few years. After 2 weeks off I did a close in hike to Grand Ridge.
Gary and I did a second trip to Exclamation
Point Rock. This time the larch were golden. Total solitude, the
rock, and golden larch. A great hike. I hiked only 51 miles with
12,100' of gain.
I hiked 8 days in November but only two merited a trip report. A lot of
them were very close in trails. My longest trip with the most elevation
gain was Mt.
Teneriffe. I even stopped on the way home for a mile around
Tradition Lake in light rain. I still had a chance of reaching 900
miles. It was really cold and windy on the summit. My other report was
Ledges & Cedar Butte. Garfield Ledges is a short new trail with
great views from the top. Kim had never been up Cedar Butte. I needed a
few more miles. For
the month I hiked 74 miles with 20,200' of elevation gain.
I saved best for last. For the second year in a
row December had more miles and elevation gain than any other month.
With short days and bad weather that should not happen. I also had a
high of 11 trips. Four had trip reports. First was a long 15 mile railroad grade hike
along the Yakima River east of Cle Elum. I saw only a couple dog sled
teams. Second was East
Rattlesnake Mountain. Not many people after the Lower Ledge and not
many folks there either. Strange to not see many folks on this trail.
Fresh snow up high. Next Gary, John, and I did the Rattlesnake Mountain
Traverse. Solid snow all along the ridge top. On the next to the
last day of the year Gary, John, and I did a snowshoe trip to Kendall Lakes.
Slow going in soft snow off the main track. I went over 900 miles that
day. On New Year's Eve I did hike on Tiger Mountain for the 36th
time in 37 years. High winds kept me to Tiger 3 and 2 then down. No
camera and no trip report for a rare time on NYE. For the month
I hiked 94 miles with
23,600' of elevation gain.
My Top 10 Trips
02. Trappers Peak
03. Mt. David
04. Mt. Aix
05. Easy Pass
06. Bean & Earl Peaks
07. Sage Hills
08. Diamond Head via
09. Exclamation Point Rock (Larch)
10. Little St. Helens