Backpacking, Hikes of the Year, Hiking

Favorite Hikes | 2009

Now that I have started 2010 off with the worst hangover I have had since my college days (I must be getting old), it’s time for some retrospection (beyond the fact that I should have stayed away from those evil pomegranate drinks last night).

2009 was the best year I have had in a very, very long time (well, minus the whole Bobby thing). I feel like I’m finally putting my life back together after the Great Depression, and I’ve had enough energy to really experience things. We’ve met a whole bunch of great new people, rekindled some old friendships, and made a conscious decision to surround ourselves with positive people.

What made 2009 so great for me was all the hiking we got to do, so, without further ado, here are my favorite trips from the year, sorted by month. (I think it’s about time I took a refresher course in comma usage.) (The same goes for parentheses.)

January The year started off strong when a weather inversion let us drive up through the freezing clouds and enjoy an amazingly warm and beautiful snowshoeing trip to Artist Point and Huntoon Point by Mount Baker.

February JK and Carlos carried skis up to McClure Rock on Mount Rainier while I led on foot. It was nice for me to not carry 243 gajillion pounds of ski gear on the way up, but they certainly had more fun on the way down.

Shuksan snuggles Let's go there

March The weather was iffy in March, so we took advantage of a sunny Thursday and skied up to High Hut. This was my first real cross-country skiing trip in five years or so, and it left me doubting the validity of my Norwegian passport. It sure was purdy up there though!

April We finally hiked (well, snowshoed) up to Camp Muir like we had been talking about for ages. 10,188 feet is the highest I have ever been, and I loved it, thin air and all.

High Hut Windy highway

May My first time snow camping and our first volcano summit, Mount St. Helens. The weather and the views were spectacular.

June I got to hike in and stay in camp while JK and the rest of the mountaineering class summited Mount Baker. I wish I could have joined them all the way, but I’ll have time for that later.

It's a beautiful day I shall say good night 'til it be morrow

July The swimming and views more than made up for the horrendous mosquitoes on our backpacking trip to Spectacle Lake (but from now on I think we’ll save lakeside overnighters for September/October to avoid the little buggers).

August I joined two great ladies from on a three-day ramble around Tank Lakes. This was my first backpacking trip without JK, but the scenery was so freaking gorgeous that I forgot all about him. ;)

Spectacle Lake Happiness defined

September My favorite hiking month in Washington; the mosquitoes are gone but the lakes are still warm enough for swimming. The sunrise over Robin Lake was the prettiest one of the whole year, it was so hot that we simply had to swim, and JK and I had a wonderful time together on this trip.

October Aah, larch month. Our trip to Black Peak (well, just Wing Lake for me) was my 2009 favorite – golden larches, gorgeous lakes and great company, followed by car camping and the best campfire the world has ever known. (I could do without the snowy boulder field of doom though.)

Photo #347 of this view Wing Lake

November We spent most of November at home with Bobby since he was sick, but we managed to sneak in an excellent snowshoe outing to Mount Rainier where we climbed above the clouds to finally see some sun.

December Our trip to Skyline Ridge last week wins December since it was where I finally found the Christmas spirit I had been looking for all month. We also stumbled upon a rather plump white and black dog, which is always a plus.

Snowboarder Crossing Skyline Lake

Other highlights In April/May we went to Utah and Nevada to escape the snow and stock up on vitamin D. It was a week of absolute bliss; nothing but love and red rocks. Aaah. I never got around to writing a trip report here on my blog, but there’s one on

I also went on my first solo hiking trip and my first solo backpacking trip this year – there will definitely be more of those.

A hoodlum among hoodoos Blue skies, petrified dunes

I have high hopes for 2010 – I want to get over my ridiculous fear of heights for long enough to try an (easy) alpine climb, and hopefully we’ll be heading back to Norway at some point to explore the mountains of home. Wherever we end up going, if it’s half as pretty as what I saw in 2009, I’ll be happy.

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  • Reply Josie January 2, 2010 at 1:04 am

    I’m trading in the pesky crutches of ’09 and hitting the trail again in 2010, thanks for the visual motivation. And I think the Bitter Dram was a little evil too?

  • Reply mel January 2, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Wow you certainly have had a great year. I would just like to thank you for sharing all of your gorgeous photos, we live along way from ski slopes in Australia so don’t get to see snow, so I really enjoy your photos :)

  • Reply Solfrid January 2, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Så mange flotte turer dere har vært på!
    Ønsker deg og dine et riktig godt nyttår!:D

  • Reply Maya January 2, 2010 at 3:55 am

    Godt nyttår til deg. Håper 2010 blir flott og innholdsrikt! Du tar helt fantastiske bilder….er innom her hver uke og sjekker etter oppdateringer og blir like glad hver gang det er nye bilder. Er skikkelig misunnelig på de bildene gitt….og ikke minst stedet dere bor. Vår drøm og :-)

  • Reply Majda January 2, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Hi Ingunn, I came across your site from the Big Picture Scrapbooking class.
    Your photos and stories are so beautiful!!! I LOVE hiking and backpacking, too (even if we don’t have such breathtaking views and such big mountains here in Czech Rep. – and one could head to the Alps from time to time, right? :)), now I’m on a sort of break, because I have two little girls, but I’m so looking forward to get back. I’ve bookmarked your site to soak up inspiration and beauty regularly. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences! You had a wonderful 2009 year, may you have another wonderful year in 2010 (but without having your cute doggy sick)!
    Ha det bra! (been learning norsk for 3 months now, but only at home, just for avoiding the brain degeneration being on maternal leave :).

  • Reply Tracy January 2, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Happy New Year, Ingunn! I am looking forward to your 2010 stories!! :)

    Cheers to you, JK, and the pups!

  • Reply Sarah January 10, 2010 at 7:03 pm


    I absolutely love your photos, just wondering what kind of camera and lenses do you prefer using? Hope you have a fabulous 2010!


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