The Year in Review

2008 was a watershed year for us–with some thirteen hikes, including our first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth backpacking trips ever.  Before I start looking ahead to the 2009 hiking season, I thought I’d take a look back at what we accomplished in our first semi-serious season.  Before I started this blog in June, we’d already gone on a couple trips that I really wish I would’ve written up, but I have included them in the list below…



Never-Round in the distance.

1. Rialto Beach and Beyond, 05/29/08-05/31/08, 2-night backpack, ~12 miles, ~200′ elevation gain.  Our first backpacking trip, and, out of every one of the year, arguably the most difficult and the hike requiring the most preparation.  At turns sand, tide pools, and slippery boulders, what each step lacked in elevation gain it more than made up for in treacherousness.  Since several areas were impassable at high tide, much care was given to being at a certain location by a specific time.  My favorite moment was climbing the rope up and over Never-Round Point and seeing the secluded crescent beach on the other side.  Other highlights were seals, sea otters, and eagles.  We saw no-one for almost two days.  This trip also marked the beginnings of my new camera, and so I barely knew how to use it.  Photos at Flickr.


2. Ingalls Creek, 06/15/08-06/16/08, 1-night backpack, ~8 miles, ~1500′ elevation gain.  Out again for a quick overnighter.  What with all the stubborn snow, we were looking for lower elevation, east of the crest hikes, this one worked out, but with Ingalls Creek rushing, we only went so far.  The flowers were beautiful, and I liked looking at my map and knowing that The Enchantments were above us.  At Flickr.

Mt. Rainier from our campsite in the morning.

3. Mt. Aix, 06/29/08-06-30/08, 1-night backpack, ~10 miles, ~4000’+ elevation gain, ~7000’+ max.  A great experience: hard uphill climb, beautifully perched campsite, crossing snow, outstanding views, retreating in fear, a thunderstorm, and sunrise and Mt. Rainier.  I want to go back and reach the summit.  Definitely with a day-pack instead of a full backpack, though.  At Flickr.


4. Fourth of July Pass, 07/13/08-07/14/08, day hike w/ car camping, ~9 miles, ~2200′ elevation gain.  I broke my lens.  The hike was okay.  The North Cascades Highway was amazing.  At Flickr.


5. Nason Ridge, 07/20/08, day hike, ~10 miles, ~2300′ elevation gain, ~6200′ max.  The mountain goat encounter, lunch inside the lookout, views of Glacier Peak.  Flickr.


6. Lake Ingalls, 08/03/08, day hike, ~11 miles, ~2300′ elevation gain, ~6400′ max.  The beautiful basin, Mt. Stuart, the lake, the goats aplenty, our first marmots, the perfect weather.  A place to revisit.  Flickr.


7. Mt. Si, 08/19/08, solo day hike, ~8 miles, ~3100′ elevation gain, ~3600′ max.  I was happy to get out on this hike after some time in Wisconsin.  I was also happy to find the trail spectacularly unbusy.  I got it out of the way.  And smartly decided I didn’t have the experience to summit.  Flickr.


8. West Fork Foss River Lakes, 08/23/08-08/24/08, 1-night backpack, ~10 miles, ~2600′ elevation gain, ~4200′ max.  Roughest trail of the year, most exhilarating river crossing, a nice waterfall and pikas.  Flickr.


9. Summerland & Panhandle Gap, 08/31/08, day hike, ~11 miles, ~3000′ elevation gain, ~6800′ max.  Clouds, snow, and marmots.  An otherworldly landscape.  My own set of trekking poles and daypacks.  Flickr.


10. Spider Meadow & Spider Gap, 09/07/08-09/08/08, 1-night backpack, ~15 miles, ~3600′ elevation gain, ~7100′ max.  The huge meadow, a coyote sighting, the hard climb up to Larch Knob, our great campsite, my silly solo climb up to the gap, the views, glissades, and stars.  Flickr.


11. Skyline Divide & Artist Point, 09/14/08-09/15/08, dayhike w/ car camping, ~6 miles, ~2000′ elevation gain, ~6200′ max.  The moon owned this hike.  Taking pictures forever.  Our first experience hiking in the dark.  Worthwhile drive up to Artist Point.  Return inevitable.  Flickr.


12. North Fork Sauk River & PCT to Red Pass, 09/28/08-09/30/08, solo 2-night backpack, ~20 miles, ~4500′ elevation gain, ~6600′ max.  First solo backpacking trip.  First visit to Glacier Peak Wilderness.  The first-night fear, the beautiful fall colors, mountains, mushrooms, solitude.  Amazing.  Flickr.


13. Lake Quinault, 10/17/08-10/19/08, area nature trails and lodge time, ~3 miles, ~500’+ elevation gain.  Hiking  gave way to sitting in front of the fireplace.  Relaxation, big trees, first elk sightings.  Flickr.


14. Snow Lake, 10/27/08, day hike, ~8 miles, ~1300’+ elevation gain, ~4400′ max.  Last hike of the year. Snow and ice on the descent to the lake.  In and out before the crowds.  Forgot the camera.  Flickr.


It was a good year, and the first of many.  Though our schedules shift, and our bodies age, I can’t imagine giving this up.  You’ve got me, Pacific Northwest.  The coming year may not have the quantity, but it’s gotta have the quality.  And you’ll find it here.  (Send happy thoughts re: Enchantments Permits and Canadian Rockies trips.)

2008 stats: ~140 miles of hiking, ~33000‘ of elevation gain, and ~2000 photos I didn’t delete…yet.


2 Responses to The Year in Review

  1. Gregg Pohll says:

    Great selections of photos. Neat post!

  2. jeremy says:

    Thanks, Gregg. It’s a fine line between looking forward and bringing on anxiousness. I’ll have to look into some winter hikes soon…

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