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TNAB

Hiking, Issaquah Alps, TNAB

alterNAB

TNAB started last week, but between house stuff and JK being swamped at work, we’ve decided to do our own alternative weeknight hikes for the time being. We save a lot of time by driving to Tiger Mountain instead of North Bend, so for now it’s back to good old Poo Poo Point and, for masochistic evenings, the Cable Line.

Poo Poo silhouettes Ready for takeoff

Since I hadn’t hiked in over a month, I was fully prepared to feel awful the whole way up, but I guess my walks on the Powerline Trail have kept me in reasonable shape. The trail was in its usual spring state of delightful muddiness, Rainier was hiding behind a wall of clouds and the sunset consisted of darkening shades of grey, but I was elated to be out on trail with my favorite guys again. An excellent alternative to TNAB, even though we missed out on the Blue Moon recovery beers at the Pour House. *frowny face*

Poo Poo Point | 3.5 miles | 1750 feet elevation gain –

Hiking, Skiing, TNAB

Where oh where did December go

Whaddya know, a whole month without blogging! The good news is that my unplanned hiatus was due to having too much fun with no need to resort to the internet for entertainment. The bad news is that I am now so old that if I don’t document my adventures, I forget all about them…so here, in chronological order, are my December highlights:

Hiker in training | I have no words for how cute Carlos and Deborah’s brand new tiny human is, and he’s already been on his first hike. Maybe I’ll finally have a trail partner I can keep up with!

Hello little guy

Mike’s birthday weekend in Whistler | I’ve never skied with views this beautiful or runs this long. My legs felt like they were going to fall off, but a huge smile was stuck to my face all weekend.

Happy up here

Winter Warmth Concert | The Head and the Heart and Florence and the Machine in one night? Oh yes, yes indeed.

Squished Florence!

Annual Skyline Ridge snowshoe | We were hoping for a repeat of last year’s gloriousness, but got skunked on the weather. Meh, who needs views when you have a picnic of gingerbread cookies and hot toddy with your beloved!

Freezing picnic

Winter Solstice TNAB | Snowshoeing to Hyak Lake in the dark to celebrate the Turning by consuming copious amounts of gløgg (and some sort of sinister blue liquid) with a group of lunatics. A holiday favorite!

Gløgg!

Christmas Cabin | We have spent many a happy weekend at Tom and Dani’s cabin this past year, culminating in a Yuletime feast of shcnow schnow, white elephant gifts (we scored a Go Girl and a dancing gopher) and general happyfuntime with some of my favorite people.

Cabin Christmas

Cross-country skiing to Tipsoo Lake | 11 miles round trip on Highway 410 (on day two of a migraine, no less). I confirmed once again that I love skiing uphill while going back down is absolutely terrifying. Will put in an official request for a) skis with metal edges and b) a sizable pair of cojones.

Tipsoo Lake all to ourselves!

Christmas with the family | After spending our last three Christmaseseses alone, JK and I (and Wellie!) loved celebrating with my parents again! Unfortunately we all contracted some sort of plague and spent most of our time sniffling on the couch, but at least it’s better to sniffle together than alone.

Bah humbug Yay!

The Hunger Games | The only good thing about the plague was that it gave me an excellent excuse to obsessively plow through the entire Hunger Games trilogy in three days. I know I must be the last person in the world to discover these, but holy mackerel, what a story!

Hiking, TNAB

TNAB!

Sorry about that last post, I didn’t mean for it to sound quite so…whiny. You will be pleased to know that I am already working on my new ‘go with the flow’ resolution, for example by not being annoyed* by the fact that JK has too much work to do to go backpacking on this sunny, glorious three-day weekend.

I also restrained myself from getting physically violent when he showed up almost 40 minutes late for our Thursday Night Afterburners hike, although the following exchange may have occurred in the car:

JK: “Remember, breathe, relax and Be Here Now…”
Ingunn: “Well, maybe next week you could Be Here on Time.”

Squished

Oh well, in spite of not getting my usual head start, I felt better on that hike than I have ever felt on a TNAB before. Come to think of it, I felt better than I have on trail all summer. For some reason I could finally keep a sustained high heart rate without feeling like an exertion migraine was right around the corner. I was obviously still the last person to make it to the summit, but who cares – I felt like I was flying.

– Mount Margaret | 5.5 miles | 2000 feet elevation gain –

Light on Hibox

*mostly.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hiking, TNAB

One year older but still a total Prat(t)

A week ago, I turned 29. I could freak out about the fact the fact that I am getting dangerously close to 30, but since I choose to surround myself with really, really old people, I still feel relatively young.

Last year JK organized a surprise hike to Poo Poo Point (along with said gang of geriatrics) on my birthday, and I loved celebrating by hiking. This year there was no sneaky planning needed; my aging would occur on a Thursday and TNAB was headed for Pratt Mountain.

Marvelous birthday views

I felt sprightly and fabulous all the way to Talapus Lake, but then we started actually hiking uphill instead of strolling along on mellow switchbacks. Suddenly all those old folks were miles ahead of me as I wheezed and moaned my way up the ridge.

At long last I reached the summit and was rewarded with views of the vast nothingness. At least the others took pity on me and waited to make sure I made it into the group shot (and got me tipsy at the Pour House afterwards).

To the Pour House! Schmidts navigating the rock step

Did I say that I still feel young? Maybe not so much after this hike.

– Pratt Mountain | 6.5 miles | 2400 feet elevation gain –

Pratt Mountain TNAB

(My birthday present was one o’ them fancy GPS gizmos! It looks like I’ll actually have to read the manual for this thing since that straight line you see in the track extends all the way to Taiwan – presumably the home of the Garmin factory. 18,000 feet of elevation gain? That’s one hell of a TNAB!)