Category: Hiking

Hiking through a white-out on Mount Rainier

A good friend is leaving Seattle this week after a six-year run here. He’s finished his PhD and is moving to Virginia for a fancy post-doc gig. As a last hurrah, a few of us ventured up the Muir Snowfield, a permanent slash of snow running up a few thousand feet from Paradise to Camp Muir, halfway up Mount Rainier.… Read more →

The more epic, the better

When I’m perusing potential hikes, I try to find the grandest, most epic places possible. But I don’t want to have to work too hard to get there. That’s been my M.O. this year, post-Rainier summit climb. Last year, I sweated my butt off getting to the tops of every mountain in the vicinity while I trained. And now I’m… Read more →

A Weekend at Baker Lake

This past weekend I dusted off my camping gear and headed to the mountains for the first time this year. The destination was Baker Lake in the North Cascades, and I invited a gaggle of friends to come with. We were lucky — it was unseasonably warm this early in summer and that far north, and though the forecast called… Read more →

Summer coming early to the North Cascades

With the weekend forecast for abundant sunshine and temperatures grazing the 80s, I desperately wanted a play date in the mountains. I picked the Boulder River Trail to hike with friends, in part because it’s shaded so we wouldn’t overheat. The hike sits off Highway 530, which brings you east into the Cascades. The road winds through a tight valley… Read more →

Taking advantage of the Indian summer

This late in the year it’s always a surprise when the sun actually makes an appearance. With great weather reports and promises of clear skies, I set out to hike Tolmie Peak Lookout, one of the few trails in Mount Rainier National Park that are within about two¬† hours of home and unhiked by yours truly. I was pretty sure… Read more →

Going up the mountain, Part 3

I remember the exact moment I knew I was going to make it. I sat on my pack, slowly chewing a Butterfinger and trying to hold on to my water bottle. If I dropped it, it would careen thousands of feet down the mountain. I dug my crampons into the ice, fighting against the gravity that pulled on my pack… Read more →

Going up the mountain, Part 2

The sky was dark and clear, and on the horizon I could see the soft glow of lights from Tacoma and Portland. Luckily for my heart rate, I couldn’t see much else–not the steep, thousand-foot drop off below me, or the various other dangers lurking. The first crevasses were fist-wide cracks in the glacier, but they signaled a change from… Read more →