2014 Year End Review

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I normally don't do any kind of write up at the end of the year. It's not even the end of the year yet. But...typical December weather...wet, rainy. Just don't feel like hiking in this yuck. There won't be another chance to get a hike/trip in before the end of the year so...why not do a write up.

I don't really set a goal for myself. I just like to keep track of stats. I'm happy though that this is overall my best year since 2010 when I went bionic in the knees :)

Generally I'm doing more steeper trips but fewer miles. This makes me happy because I really like summits and ridge walks :)

To satisfy my inner geek this is a comparison of the past three years:
Description 2014 2013 2012
Mileage (by foot) 361.75 323.30 387.94
Mileage (by paddle) 75.25 0 0
Elevation Gain (by foot) 115,079 78,634 101,278
Day on Trail 47 39 49
Days on Water 9 0 0
# Trips 36 36 41
Overnights 5 7 7
Day Trips 31 29 34
Average Mileage Per Day (by foot) 7.70 8.2897 7.9171
Average Elevation Gain Per Day 2,448 2016.3 2066.9
# Peak 25 15 12
# New Peaks 20 7 7

This year I just felt like doing more trips by myself this year and most of these solo trips were day trips. I just didn't feel like being alone on an overnight in the backcountry...too much quiet time. This will change in 2015.

So some reflections...

Top 3 hiking trips:
1) Green Mtn Lookout - I'm picking this as #1 since the Suiattle River Rd is now open to the end for the first time in over 10 years. Two major flood events in 2003 & 2006 washed out large chunks of the road. A long protracted battle to restore full access to the road was won and Green Mtn LO was saved. The Suiattle Rd was my first exposure to the mountains of WA State when I first moved here. It has been a long time since I have visited some of the places along the road. Green Mtn LO holds a special place in my heart. To be able to get back there for a day trip was a bit surreal. I think 2015 holds lots of trips along this road for me.
2) Banshee Peak - This trip was absolutely SPECTACULAR. I've been to Summerland and Panhandle Gap many times but I've never wandered over to Banshee Pk. The view of "The Mountain" is incredible on the way up the ridge to Banshee. The weather was perfect. The early fall color was gorgeous. The hiking company...the best. I may not do this trip every year but it is definitely worth a repeat and I think next time I'll try making it an overnight (if I can score a backcountry permit).
3) Enchantment Lakes - This was my second trip up to the Upper Enchantments but the first time when it was melted out. The area is jaw dropping gorgeous. But...you gotta work hard to get there.

Favorite kayak trip:
Spencer Spit - Hands down... Kayaking is a whole different world than traveling by foot. Instead of mountains you see islands. Instead of a bear sighting I was hoping to see an orca (no luck). Instead of camprobbers you see terns. Instead of marmots...starfish. I'm looking forward to good years ahead doing lots of paddling. I like the fact that weight in a backpack isn't an issue. Camping on a kayak trip feels like a guilty pleasure compared to backpacking.

I had a soft goal to just visit more lookouts this year. I'm a sucker for lookouts. I visited quite a few this year...three were repeats (Dirtyface, Icicle, and Green Mtn) and five were new for me (Driveway Butte, Sourdough, Shriner Pk, Kelly Butte, and Sulphur Mtn).

So thanks everyone for a really fun 2014. Yana...thanks for pushing me to sign up for the sea kayak class. Dani and Carol...wow we did lots of fun trips in 2014...let's do more in 2015!

Now to start planning for 2015... Hmm...Pilot Ridge backpack...Image Lake and Miner's Ridge LO... So much to see...so little time...

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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