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December 2010

Hiking, Top Trips

Skyline *Fridge*

In early December the doom and gloom of our traditional Pacific Northwest winter weather finally lifted, and on a weekend day no less!

Skyline Lake

Head for the golden trees

Unfortunately this was also the day we had to stay home in the morning for a fire inspection, so after noon we got in the car and drove to our favorite short snowshoe destination, Skyline Ridge.


I think this was my fourth visit to the Ridge and the cool rock garden, and this was the best trip yet. Blue skies, sunshine, fresh snow on the trees…I was in heaven.

Stevens Pass ski area It's the most wonderful time of the year Skyline Lake at sunset

Since we got such a late start and the days are agonizingly short this time of year, we had planned on staying up on the ridge for sunset…

Let's get out of here

…but unfortunately the clear skies and impressive gusts of wind made this the coldest hike I’ve ever been on. Brrr!

Frosty skies

We had a quick lunch, then decided that getting back to the car (and the butt heaters!) was more tempting than alpenglow.

Pastel painting

We hurried down just as the mountain gods started painting the sky with pastel colors, and were treated to a surprising splash of hot pink on the way back to the parking lot.

Hot pink

These three miles equaled at least three months of therapy.

Skyline Ridge | 3 miles | 1300 feet elevation gain –

Hiking, TNAB

Solstice Snowshoe Inebriation Celebration

Yet another case of blog neglect, I see. Oh well. Instead of elaborating on the absolutely soul-crushing depression I’ve been trying to get through, I’m going to stay positive and say that over the last week or so I have finally started to feel more energetic, which leads us to last Thursday’s early Winter Solstice TNAB to Hyak Lake.

This was my first totally dark TNAB. When we set out from the parking lot at six, the sun had already set hours ago…luckily we were there to celebrate the Solstice, so the sunny days and evenings will return all in due time. Huzzah!

Hyak Lake

This was also my first TNAB on snowshoes. And the first TNAB where I was actually able to keep up with the main group, since the guys in the front had to break trail. Huzzah!

TNAB Hyak Lake

Group photo by Moosefish

Sadly, this was our first TNAB without Wellie. It was too cold for his little fur-less, fat-free body…and it would have been cold for us, too, if it weren’t for all the gløgg and champagne. Huzzah!

Various stages of inebriation

Lastly, it was my first TNAB hiking under the influence. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen down quite so many times on a hike before, but the miles just flew by. Huzzah!

Humiliation Wobbly Woodland fairy

Here’s to lighter days and brighter moods and festive holidays and tasty cookies and a brand new year. Huzzah!

Hyak Lake | 3 miles | 1000 feet elevation gain

'twas a beautiful night