Sunday, June 27, 2010


Can't believe that I am visiting Ecuador trip advisor forum, less than a year after I was exploring Kenya and Tanzania. This seems to be turning into year of foreign travel. If I can make New Zealand happen at end of the year, I would have visited all 6 continents in same year! (yes, Antarctica does not count!) Just booked my tickets, but there are still so many unknowns in the trip. Though if I did end up going and doing something even of not much hiking, it will not be a waste of $1000.


Today was a beautiful sunny day in Leavenworth. I headed for 4th-of-july-creek with meetup group. Its a not so easy hike, so I decided to not take heavy pack. I needed to keep pace with rest of the group. This hike starts out steep, gaining lot of elevation in first 3.5 miles. After that you enter the ghost forest and its quite flat from here. After a mile or so of ghost forest, you climb up to Icicle Ridge with lots of switchbacks. There is some snow towards the very end, but its melting fast and was not a problem at all. I did not need to use my stabilizers also.

I do not know why, but I was quite exhausted in the beginning. I just could not make my legs move any fast on the steep uphills. Had to dump some of the water in the middle to keep up with the group.

The views were just amazing. Clear blue skies. First we saw the Cashmere range, then Enchantments. The hill sides were full of wild-flowers rigth from start. At places we were literally switch-backing through fields of flowers, mostly purple lupines. We also spotted a few tiger littles and bunch of unknown purple, while and yellow flowers. There were also some pink wild roses. After 4 miles, you enter the ghost forst, its a bunch of tress burnt down in a forest fire a while ago, it looks creept and ghostly. When you reach the Icicle Ridge, there were views of North Cascades behind, enchantments and cashmere ranges in front.

Elevation gain - 4800ft
Distance - 11.5 miles
Time - 4:00 hrs up, 3hrs down
Pack weight - 20 lbs

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rock'n'Roll Volunteer

A day of volunteering at Rock'n'Roll marathon expo! This is second year of Rock'n'Roll marathon in Seattle and they had 28000 runners. I chose not to run this year as I wanted to concentrate on hiking, plus I am not keen on running same course again. So I decided to volunteer this year. The Expo was less grand than last year's. There were more and more things for sale, than for give away. There was also an increasing number of energy bars and gels, things I have never heard of or seen at REI. They all tasted almost the same, the world as just become even more confusing!

Seeing the runners from other side of desk was interesting. Some were seasoned runners, just give me my packet and I will get out of here. Some were OMG, my first marathon, I have no idea what's happening. There were couple of people who (or their significant others) wanted to record every moment, even packet pickup. I think it was rude to take my picture handing the packet without asking me - bcoz I would have said no! Overall it was quite fun!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mt Si - 32lb

Today was quite a sunny day and I decided its better to not waste it sitting in office. So I put the idea on meetup group to start the hike @2 and 3 other people joined. I am loving meetup! We started the hike @2:10. This must have been my first sunny Mt Si hike this year and I was glad for all the shade along the trail. View of Rainier and surrounding mountains was gorgeous! Temp up at peak was nice and warm and it was hard to leave and come down.

Pack weight - 32lb
Time up - 2hr 15min
Time down - 1hr 15min.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Tiger West #3

This weekend was totally miserable. Wanted to go to Bandera yesterday with meetup group, but just could not get out of rajai, tired and gloomy weather. Then got paged just when thinking of leaving, so good excuse to not go. Spent rest of the day sleeping. Today packed the backpack and lunch to do a Mt Si and then Tiger hike. It was raining on the way, lost interest and ended up just doing Tiger West. The trail is not as easy as I thought, or I was just struggling because of yesterday's comatose state. Hopefully sun will come out and will have better rest of the week.

Elevation gain - 2000ft
Distance - 6 miles
Time - 2:30 hrs
Pack weight - 30 lbs

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cable line

A quick hike up cable line today. Decided not to carry pack, the weekend and rest of week had been very tiring. Did not seem to have made any difference to timing!
Pack wt - 20lb

Monday, June 14, 2010

Lake 22

This was a easy hike, wanted to chillout before the weekly madness starts. Did not even carry a pack. The views were just great.

Elevation gain - 1200ft
Distance - 5.4 miles
Time - 4:00 hrs
Pack weight - 15 lbs

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mt Washington - 3

ya, fine, call me crazy, stupid, why, what or whatever. I decided to go back to Mt Washington again this weekend. Last weekend was cloudy and I did not take heavy enough pack. This time I took 32 - 35lb pack. The view was as awesome as I had remembered on this clear day. This time went up the shorter 4 mile trail and came down the great wall trail.

Elevation gain - ~3400ft
Distance - ~10 miles
Time - 6:00 hrs
Pack weight - 32 - 35lb

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Mt Washington - 2

Second trip to Mt Washington. The first one was a snowshoe, so this was different. I was carrying only about 25lb this time. We took the great wall trail up and regular trail down.

Elevation gain - ~3400ft
Distance - ~10 miles
Time - 6:30 hrs (a 40 min detour also)
Pack weight - 25lbs

At the first junction, we were suppose to make right, but we thought that we needed to go straight to go on the great wall trail. This trail led us to some sketchy trails which were clearly meant for climbers and not hikers. So we came back to the juction and followed the one on right. Soon we were at owl lookout point. Little bit ahead of that is second junction, the real one for Great Wall trail. So we took that one to summit. Its long and mostly flat. But there is a nice ridge walk with much better views that the shorter trail. Way back the shorter new trail. It was partly cloudy, some view of Rainier and surrounding, nothing as dramatic as what we saw last time.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Tiger Mtn Cable line

Yesterday we did the "short" after work hike to Tiger Mtn. Cable line to go up - 1 hr 13 min. I had a pack of about 20lbs. The trail is relentless climb of ~2000ft in 1.5 mile. I am beginning to find flat section on the trail now :). Back using the regular 3 mile trail - 50min.