01 Jan 1998

Short Reports 1998

Summit Nordic Center, 12/23/1998

It was so much fun before, I had to go back! I got in a strenuous 5 hours here, and took the Silver Fir lift up in bitterly cold wind (no wind temp. 3 degrees). I made snappy work of many of the upper blue trails, and visibility was good for nice panoramic views. But on the way down I took a wrong turn and had a major crash on a downhill run. I bent one of their ski poles! Finally, I reached saner ground and the adrenaline jitters faded.

Summit Nordic Center, 12/19/1998

Kris and I took a cross-country ski lesson on this 17 degree day. Occasional dry snow. This was great fun, but we used muscles we weren’t aware of!

Bunch of Lakes at Snoqualmie Pass, 12/13/1998

Phil and I used snowshoes and ascended to three lakes around the Summit Nordic Center. We had constant rain and fog.

Mount Si, 10/16/1998

With all the rock climbing, I’ve been letting general conditioning slide. On this one day of sun, I snuck out for a long lunch in my jeans and tennis shoes for a flash ascent. I made it to the top of the haystack then back to the car within 3 hours. Then I patted myself on the back excessively and pitifully! There were little snow patches on the haystack, and the mountains to the east were quite snow-covered.

REI Redmond, 10/9/1998

Well, I was the first customer to officially climb the pinnacle here, I’m proud to say! The climb was a circa 5.8 crack on the back side, via top-rope. Of course, I had to ping off 4 feet from the anchors to look foolish, but it was still fun…Thanks to Kris for making me stick around to fill out the form and wait for the staff to open the rock to the public!

Exit 38, 9/27/1998

Kris, Bob, Matthias, Jamie and I woke early to climb at the Club Paradiso and Amazonia walls. I led the 5.8 climb “Lush,” then Jamie coaxed (and pulled) me up a 5.10a route with an evil overhang. These guys kept me on 5.10a-d routes the rest of the day, my fingers withering and muscles trembling. I never really got up any of them, but I sure did learn about suffering!

Peshastin Pinnacles, 9/11/1998

Kris dropped my off to climb with some of her co-workers for the morning. This place was fun! I led a 5.2 (The Gully) and pitch one of a 5.7 (Potholes). This was my first chance to be on my own placing protection. The Metolius 4-cam units are indispensable! I tried a 5.10a route, but fell on the hardest part. Oh well!

Mount Pilchuck, 8/27/1998

Kris and I went up to the basin late in the afternoon of this very clear day to get sunset pictures. Three Fingers and Baker looked very saucy. We stayed until dark, then went down by headlamp. A great time!

Mount Si, 8/11/1998

Another conditioning work out, also to break in new boots. Only a few people there. At the top of the haystack a couple followed me up. The man gave the woman a compliment: “You’re only, like, the second chick whose ever come with me on a real hike.” She said thanks.

Cady Pass/Pass Creek, July 18,19,22 1998

Kris, my mom and I went up the awful Cady Creek trail to drop mom off for her 4 day stay in the wilderness. She was visiting from Texas for this. The bugs were rough, but in late afternoon we found a great campsite along Pass Creek, just over Cady Pass. Mom did very well…there were over 70 downed trees to clamber over! We saw bear sign, and mom was worried the first night…it was her first time camping ever. Kris and I headed back the same way Sunday. Wednesday morning I came to pick mom up by a much better way: Pass Creek trail. She enjoyed her trip immensely, and plans to write an article about it.

Little Si, 7/16/1998

While waiting for Mom to arrive at the airport, I scrambled up the back side of this little mountain. Starting from a climbing area on it’s flank, I found a faint path leading steeply up through gullys, then onto faces. At the top, I decided to go back the way I came, the scrambling was so much fun.

Alpine Ridge, 7/5/1998

Kris and I went up in the late afternoon in hopes of catching a sunset at the Forest Service lookout, and of seeing a mountain goat. Alas! We did not come prepared for the millions of mosquitoes whose torments we endured for 2 miles. After they began biting Kris through her pants repeatedly, we easily decided to turn around. We both raced back to the car, Kris admitting that trekking poles would be useful going down! (She has long held that they are a waste of money…)

Cady Ridge, 7/4/1998

Headed up Cady Creek at 8:30 am. The log crossing required good balance, especially because the log was wet and slippery. Pick up a long stick or use poles for balance. The trail was good, although there were at least a dozen major blow-downs and many smaller ones. That’s ok, it just turned this flat hike into a cross-training workout! Reached Cady Pass and began to encounter increasing snow up to Lake Sally Ann. An ice ax would have been nice during parts of the traverse under Mt. Skykomish. I returned via Cady Ridge, making use of the map and compass until finding and keeping the trail after a snow-free traverse of the south side of a peak at the start of the ridge. Quite a bit of snow, but the trail was in great shape. A steep descent to the log crossing, and back to the car at 5:30. Whistling marmots at Mt. Skykomish.

Leavenworth, 6/??/1998

On my first time here, Kris came along with some rock climbing friends. We had a good time, until Joe’s foot was cut by a flake that he was pulling on. This huge rock came crashing off and flipped him upside down. I lowered him and we got him bandaged up. Now, none of us trust flakes…

Index, 6/??/1998

A great climber, Alex Krawarik, took me to an easy climb here called Great Northern Slab (5.6). It was 2.5 pitches of pure fun! I led the last half pitch, thrilled by anchor placement. We rapped down on a double rope. Phil Fortier also came along.

Exit 32, 6/??/1998

I joined some friends for rock climbing here, having a great time on the flanks of Little Si. I climbed two routes without problems, then thrashed on a 5.10 crack route, finally resorting to a pendulum in order to reach the upper portion (the crack was soaking wet). A teetery lie-back evaded me so I never made it, but I did learn how to fall better!

Mount Pilchuck, 05/21/1998

This morning I enjoyed a pre-work hike up Mt. Pilchuck. I was on the trail at 5:30 am, in spitting rain and fog. The trail was ridiculously muddy then painfully rocky but I’m not complaining! Encountered snow after a sign “Blasting 1000 feet” at about 4200 ft. The ice ax came in very handy as I followed the most “likely” looking set of tracks after the snow-bowl traverse, which soon had me on a 45 degree snow wall. I ascended this about 800 feet. Then, when the top was 100 feet up, the way abruptly ended in a huge moat before a sheer, wet rock face. There was no hope of continuing, so I gingerly down-climbed my tracks, then plunge stepped when it was safe. Having never been to Mt. Pilchuck, relying on tracks in a perpetual white-out can lead to this kind of dead-end. I crossed two snow-slides on the traverse, and 6,003 glissade chutes.

Bedal Peak, 05/16/1998

Left the car at 8 am, following muddy path to river. Somewhere along the way, the path forked, and I took the right branch. The way led over three easy creek crossings and was well-marked by tape. Crossing the North Fork Sauk itself required wading thigh deep, not too bad in the morning. The taped path led me to a wide, shallow crossing. After this, the marked path disappeared, and it was brutal cross-country devil’s club land for a half mile. I met up with the railroad grade traversing south, and then steep switchbacks trending west. I removed a few logs, and the trail was very brushy. I was making for Bedal Peak, so I left the trail where it crosses Cougar Creek. I got into some mossy wet cliffs as I headed west and a little north. After that, open timber and snow at about 3600 feet. By the time I got to 5800 feet it was 2:00, and I decided to head back. I was on a snowy ridge above timberline with beautiful views all around of Sloan, Bedal, Glacier Peak. All the bushwacking and cold, wet boots wore me out! Descent was quick and I naturally found a taped path near the river that had eluded me on the way up. It led to a crossing further south where a log sagged across the river. The current was much stronger now, so I inched across the log. This was a scary crossing, I was wishing someone else were there with me! On the west bank I lost the path then found it again, realizing it was the right fork in the path. Arrived at the car at 5:00 pm. A good days work!

Hurricane Ridge, 5/??/1998

Kris and I snowshoed and camped here. She got some nice pictures, and we had our first visit to the Olympics. The backcountry fees were incredibly high (I think it cost us 17.00 to stay one night!), and it took 5 hours of driving to get there. Kind of a downer, but I’m sure we’ll be back…

Blanca Lake, 4/??/1998

Well, not really. I made it to Virgin Lake in the worst fog I’ve ever seen. I completely lost the trail here, and didn’t feel good about the descent to Blanca where I was. Pretty tough cliffs and steep snow were abundant, although so were trees so I guess I could have swung from branch to branch! I want to go back though, now that the snow is melting away (writing this 7/2/1998).

Paradise, Mt. Rainier, 4/17-19/1998

Spent 2 nights on a hill near Paradise in winter conditions. Steve joined me and we had our first crevasse rescue session, ranging all over the area, and constantly trying to pull each other off the side of a ridge! Saturday night was cold and wet, but Sunday was beautiful. I got quite a sunburn, but this led to me perfecting a method of sun protection that works very well for me.

Monte Cristo Townsite, 4/??/1998

Kris and I walked up the snow-covered road in cloudy conditions. Heartbreakingly, the bridge was out into the town proper, so we turned around. She got very nice pictures, and the sun came out by early afternoon. I think we should have started later for this one…it took so long for the morning mist and clouds to burn away.

Mount Si, 3/??/1998

Did my best to zoom up on a conditioning work out. I did it in 1 hour 45 minutes with the pack. It was a mob scene, like a “Climbing Rainier” convention. That’s all anybody talked about!

Reflection Lakes, Mt. Rainer, 3/12-13/1998

We just moved to Redmond, and this was my first time to see Rainier. Wow! I had good weather on this solo overnight trip. I camped at the deserted lake, then snowshoed up to the Tatoosh saddle next to The Pinnacle, a beautiful peak. The sound of avalanches was thrilling, and the incredible quiet in the snow made me feel very alone.

Mount Defiance (Columbia Gorge), 1/20/1998

My first hike with Steve and my second time on Mt. Defiance. Much more fun this time, and the “winter wonderland” of ice we saw was fantastic. Umbrellas were great against bone-chilling wind and snow.