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Catleap Peak
North Cascades, Washington
Foreground: Tower Mountain & Golden Horn

Off the grid in the mountains is where solitude and peace are often abundant. It’s my escape from the 9 to 5 nonsense, even if only for the weekend.

It was an incredible five months off the beaten path, beginning with Catleap Peak and Hock Mountain in Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. Later on, we visited Burnt Boot Peak and Mile High on the back burner.

The dogs spent most of the latter two months in boarding as I slowly chipped away at the more rugged peaks.

2022 in a
Nutshell

Visitors

13.1 k

Page views

73.9 k

Sessions

20.8 k

Year 13 and Counting

Continuing my weekly hiking adventures

One Hike A Week Circa 2010

The new year didn’t start on a high note as I suffered a nerve-related (doctors couldn’t confirm) foot injury on New Year’s Eve 2021. Being unable to take advantage of the whole weekend during the off-season was mentally challenging. Nonetheless, I sought solace in lowland hills and spent the next three months working up to full speed. 

80
total trips
1000
Trips to date
10
unpublished trips

I kept my stubbornness in check and waited patiently (and frustratingly) for whatever it was to recover fully. So when the main highways reopened in May, I was ready to head out and welcome the warm weather. Ironically, the long-awaited summer came later than anticipated due to the long winter. 

Let’s see what 2023 has in store for us all!

The Crew

Partners in climbs

Sir Cody

Mount Larrabee
Mount Baker Wilderness, North Cascades

Paid His Dues for the Views

Holy moly, this guy turned 13 last December. As much as he mentally enjoyed getting out with us, his body was showing signs otherwise. The high energy at the start of the season had dipped drastically by the tail end of the summer as he showed less interest in steep scrambling. But I started carrying The Airlift in the last two years, just in case.

The telltale signs during our Rampart Ridge 7941 trip had made me think it’d likely be his last time backpacking–at least in the sense of backpacking plus climbing. Since the fall, we’ve been sticking to shorter hikes and maybe with some scrambling at the end. We will continue discovering new places as long as he wants to keep moving!

TOTAL TRIPS

50
Cody
50
Connor
60
John

Entering the Legal Drinking Age

Mister Connor went on several more trips with me. The noticeable difference in their energy levels was sometimes hard to gauge whether to factor Cody into the plan. I knew he wouldn’t have enjoyed the rocky traverse to Tieton Peak or the steep incline on Mount Higgins. But I hope Connor did.

While I want to have Connor on all my trips next season, he will need to sit out the non-dog-friendly ones. But that means he’ll have a more pleasant time in boarding as I continue to work through my list.

Food. Balls. Squirrels. Repeat.

Mister Connor

Mount Larrabee
Mount Baker Wilderness, North Cascades

2022 Goals

More random and back-burner peaks.

More Unbridled Joy in the Cascades

After visiting Hancock’s Comb in late April, I realized I had ignored the local peaks since I had focused on the big mountains. Wanting to stay motivated and not obsessed over the list, I alternated my trips between the North Cascades and Alpine Lakes Wilderness. And it worked out beautifully.

More people discovered the joy of the outdoors during the pandemic. So I decided to visit the local places now to avoid the influx of crowds in the future. But I stay hopeful that the obscure areas likely won’t see much traffic beyond the beaten path.

Alpine
Lakes
Wilderness

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North Cascades + Pasayten Wilderness

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More Alone Time on Obscure Peaks

Goals were met! The plan was to knock off a quarter, but I needed one more the weekend before the weather turned. So I climbed Vulcan Peak (7880) via Easy Pass to Fisher Creek Valley as the McAllister Creek Fire persisted over Thunder Creek.

Number of peaks by region:

Happy Birthday!

Forever my mountain dog. Forever our guardian angel.

A brighter place beyond the rain

Buddy Coop

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