Top 10 Trip Reports - February 2022

Each month, we sort through all your trip reports. Then, we pick our favorites and celebrate them here! Read on for our favorites from February 2022.
Issy Steckel Issy Steckel
Communications Associate
March 01, 2022
Top 10 Trip Reports - February 2022

February is a month of anticipation. Although we are still in the heart of winter, the days are beginning to get longer and we are often surprised by blooming flowers and brief opportunities for short-sleeved hikes. I was even able to ride my bike to work on a couple days this month, enjoying the aroma of jasmine lining the Burke Gilman (I will admit my hands were frozen solid by the time I arrived at the Seattle Program Center). 

Though these signs of spring make many of us eager to skip ahead to longer adventure days, they also ground us in the present moment, in the crisp winter days that we know won’t last forever. This month’s Top Ten Trip Reports is a celebration of the beautiful February conditions that remind us that we are exactly where we are meant to be. We’re highlighting trip reports from a variety of activities, including a winter ascent of  Mount Rainier via the Gibraltar Ledges, an exploratory backcountry ski of the Tatoosh Traverse, a winter scramble attempt of Mount Kai-Komagatake in the Japanese Alps, and more.  

Basic Snowshoe - Paradise Area - 2/5

6f453f76-caaa-4e98-89fc-a41466998132.jpeg“Conditions could not have been better. Plenty of deep, soft, untracked snow, chilly but comfortable temps, and a great group of Mountaineers all doing what we love!”

Is there anything better than a great day outside with people who just get it? The trip was so great that participants even chimed in the comments section for this trip report. One member writes: “I echo Nancy’s report. Beautiful day. Fun and friendly group. Nancy was a joy to get to know and learned some tips to improve my skills. Could not have been better!” 

Day Hike - Mount Walker - 2/6

b91e94ef-c1e6-4bb2-80c5-3a7c894564f7.jpeg“This was my first hike as a new mountaineer member. The leader was delightful, down to earth, and friendly. I liked her very much and got a very good feeling about The Mountaineers because of this experience. I am looking forward to more.”

Welcome to our Mountaineers community, Renee!

Curious about getting involved? Signing up for an activity that doesn’t have any prerequisites is a great way to get started as a new member or guest. This includes day hikes, backpacking trips, stewardship activities, photography outings, and occasional sailing opportunities! 

Photography - Baker Lake - 2/6

415e169a-30ce-4b08-80db-1c43e5c5c009.jpeg“Finally a beautiful day with crisp skies arrived as predicted. On a Sunday, Baker Lake was my choice for photography as well as hiking.”

Sergio Rojo’s trip reports don’t disappoint. Enjoy this photo journey, with mountains views, flowing water, cougar track sightings, and more.  

Olympia Jr. Mac conquers Mount Washington (Snoqualmie) - 2/6

f0a730da-ef4b-4af3-a1e3-b78028fc3b2a.jpeg“Five Olympia Jr. MAC Mountaineers along with two chaperones and a leader successfully completed a conditioning hike in preparation for a possible Mt. St. Helens attempt.” 

Not only did this group end up doing nearly 9 miles and 3,000 feet of elevation gain, the Jr. MAC youth members were the primarily leaders for the trip. In this trip report, hear about their decision along the way to manage different conditioning levels and make it fun for everyone on the trip. 

Basic Snowshoe - Kendall First Knob - 2/6

3641a3b4-fc3f-42af-b89f-c0c21b27aa95.jpeg"We had a fun day out with a great group of people! It was a new trail for some in our group, and also the first snowshoe of this winter for some. Mother Nature certainly delivered a spectacular day for our adventure!"

Rachel Rubin masterfully describes a full day snowshoeing along a forest road to Kendall Knob with views of Gold Creek Basin and Keechelus Lake. If stunning weather, lunch with a view, and a catnap while basking in the sunshine sound like a dream, you will certainly enjoy reading this trip report

Climb - Mount Rainier/Gibraltar Ledges - 2/11 to 2/12


"For gear, packed typical glacier items plus a few screws, 30m rope and 30m glacier cord (Beal backup) so each could carry escape gear. Avvy forecast for conventional elevations was low, but packed our kit just in case. Updated to the BD Transfer Lt and Ortovox 240 carbon to save ~400g. Skipped vestibule for Direkt2 tent given 0mph forecast. With careful assembly, we each managed a 35L bag around 20lbs with 3 days provision. Tighter than usual with all the extra puffies, winter bags and mitts!"

Often called "Gib Ledges," this route on Mount Rainier is Grade II with 35-50° snow and ice. Read about gear tips, what it was like to reach the summit crater in the early morning hours, and an idea for a future stewardship project in Ty's incredible trip report

Day Hike - Mount Walker - 2/12

1912dfdf-61b8-4639-baef-8a83a232262c.png“For conditioning, strength, and endurance we touched on subjects such as the importance of nutrition, types, timing, and in having a nutritional plan. Strengthening we covered the importance of consistency and how to build muscle by adding a small amount of weight to your weekly conditioning hikes. ”

What happens when thru-hikers, Basic Alpine Climbing students, and a marathon runner hike up Mount Walker together? Well, it's a pretty great day to say the least. Find out more in this trip report

Backcountry Ski - Tatoosh Ski Traverse - 2/12 to 2/13 

73b201f8-e997-4400-98e2-d0da4d6b304a.jpeg“Gear we were glad we had: ski crampons, ice axe, boot crampons. Gear we wished we brought: radios, more sandwiches” 

Inspired by “the backcountry skiing Bible,” Backcountry Ski and Snowboard routes of Washington, this party took on the Tatoosh Ski Traverse. Karina Vanderbilt’s detailed trip report is particularly useful for parties interested in attempting the traverse, including navigation and GPS info, general route beta, and gear suggestions. Plus, the epic photos are sure to pique everyone's interest. 

Scramble - Mount Wow - 2/13

498b3ca6-aea8-4da7-a34c-b217fe6b2439.jpeg“The views of Mount Rainer kept getting better and better.” 

The mountain is out! I'm happy to hear everyone was safe despite various trail hazards and one member needing to self-arrest, which Andrew details in this trip report

Day Hike - Lower Big Quilcene - 2/14

c3e5af5d-dfa8-4ae8-a824-3405bee4862d.jpeg“The river was beautiful today and I enjoyed hearing it near us for most of the day. In spite of a light rain most of the time, it was a pleasant hike and we enjoyed the intensity of the greens on this wet day.”

Becky's write up is a great reminder to check recent trip reports before heading out on the trail. Find out why in her full report

Hike and Scramble - Japan's Northern Alps - 2/18

be844882-d2cf-468b-925b-589ac18a3b9a.jpeg“Deep snow prevented reaching the summit, but it was a great workout and still a beautiful morning in the woods.”

Travel vicariously through Nathan's trip report from a winter scramble in Japan’s Northern Alps. Learn about the terrain, two different routes to reach the summit, and his decision to ultimately turn around. Though it can be disappointing to not make the summit, it's important to know when to turn around - and to recognize that these attempts are about so much more than checking something off your list. 

We love reading your trip reports! You can find recommendations for how to write a solid report here

Lead image by Nancy Lloyd. 

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