I had been to the saddles on each side of Table Mountain, but not much after that, so finally decided to do the full circumnav to get more familiar with the terrain on the backside of Table. The snow was getting a little old, but had stayed cold, so the snow was variable with pockets of powder and crust.
We decided to checkout the Blackcomb Backcountry for some early season skiing during the holiday break. It was our first time, so it was an exploratory mission, but we hoped to get some good skiing in the process.
In order to get an adventure climb in for the season, Michael and I decided to try out Easy Getaway, an under visited climb with no established trail. I got to Cutthroat Trailhead a little later than I originally planned, to a sky full of stars and a fairly prominent Milky Way.
Washington Pass opened later than usual this year, due to the never ending winter, but there luckily was a weather window the Friday after it opened so we jumped on it.
The morning started with our traditional stop at Whitaker Cafe to grab some coffee and ambience. This time the parking lot was bustling, it must have been the first weekend of guiding season. Given the large crowd, we moved quickly to try and get a spot near the front of the line at the gate.
With a few inches of fresh snow, cold temps, and fairly low wind in the forecast we decided it was a good time to hit the Ptarmigan Ridge. We got eyes on Video Peak the first time we did the Table Mountain Circumnavigation and were stoked to finally get a closer look.
I ran up Excelsior Peak the previous August and it was hard not to notice the inviting bowls that split off on each side of the summit and knew I had to come back in the Winter.
We met that morning at Whittaker’s Cafe for a second round of coffee and breakfast, then left in time to get to the gate to Paradise at Longmire right before 9am, parking at the Paradise parking lot.
The weather and the avalanche forecast weren’t stellar, but they were good enough to give Corner Pocket a chance. We set a few decision points along the way with the worst case goal of getting to explore new territory in the Baker backcountry.
It was another weekend of conservative skiing due to avalanche conditions, so we decided to explore the Kendall Knob area in order to try and stay in the trees as much as possible.
We met that morning at Whittaker’s Bunkhouse for a second round of coffee and breakfast, then left in time to get to the gate to Paradise at Longmire right before 9am, parking at the Narada Falls parking lot.
Upon discovering there was a nearby lake that not only contained several species of native and non-native carnivorous plants, one being the ever popular Venus flytrap, but also a floating log island, I knew I had to figure out a way to see it first hand.
In an attempt to mix things up, some friends and I decided to go on our first sea kayaking adventure in the Salish Sea. We had all done our fair share of other adventures before, but this was brand new territory and a chance to test our abilities with the unknown.
I flew into Fresno so we could stock up on supplies at the Grocery Outlet before driving back towards the valley. A drive he had done several times, since he started doing van life a few months prior. Given that the experience was new to me, I didn’t know which corner we rounded would reveal that iconic valley view of El Capitan and Half Dome, as he waited with baited breathe in anticipation of my reaction.
I recently went on a weekend kayaking fishing trip down in Rockport on the Texas coast and while we weren’t successful in catching any keepers, I feel like we arrived at a productive planning strategy for future trips. We chose Goose Island State Park since we were already familiar with the area and we could stay right on the water.
Devil’s Dome Loop is located in the Pasayten Wilderness which overlaps with the North Cascades National Park. We started on our hike September 18th at the Canyon Creek Trailhead right off Highway 20, which has a large gravel lot for parking, an outhouse, and a stream flowing beside it. To park at the trailhead requires a Northwest Forest Pass, although other passes may also be valid.