Top 10 Trip Reports - May 2022

Every month, we sort through all your trip reports. We pick our favorites and celebrate them here! Read on for the best from May 2022.
Issy Steckel Issy Steckel
Communications Associate
June 01, 2022
Top 10 Trip Reports - May 2022

What does June signify to you? For me, it means we’re officially at the time of year when I haul the food dehydrator out of storage and start preparing my trail menu for the upcoming backpacking season. The humming of the dehydrator’s fan is a small, yet welcome, reminder of warmer days and dinners with a view that are just around the bend. 

I’m not alone in my excitement for summer adventures. On our first weekend of glorious sunshine this past month, the number of trip reports posted by Mountaineers shot way up. Slowly but surely, more dirt and less snow are filling the pages of your reports. Seasoned naturalists and newbies alike are excited to admire wildflowers that are in bloom across the state. And sea kayaking, sailing, and hiking trips are in full swing. 

This month, we’re highlighting trip reports from two hikes, two scrambles, a climb, a backpack, a bikepack, a paddle, a sail, and a special stewardship trip. Click on the photos to read the full reports from the volunteers and members.

Stewardship - Glacial Heritage Preserve - 5/4

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“Awesome day caring for and exploring this beautiful prairie!” 

Did you know that Glacial Heritage Preserve is only open to the public once a year on Prairie Appreciation Day? Well, the Olympia Stewardship & Conservation Committee arranged a private tour to learn about the fragile and important preserve from representatives of the Center for Natural Land Management. In this report, hear about their visit, including hands-on restoration work, a leisurely lunch, and a special sighting of golden paintbrush, a very rare wildflower that's enjoying a recent comeback.

Day Hike - Mount Zion - 5/11

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“A very enjoyable CHS2 hike to Mt. Zion yesterday. The Deadfall Trail is pretty steep and a great conditioner, a nice alternative to the usual route, and did 7 miles rt and 2,700' gain. We encountered six or more inches for about a mile all the way to the top, even got snow-bombed!” 

Great work, Olympia CHS students! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the day hike to Mount Zion, I’ll just add that this trail is known for its tall groves of wild rhododendron. I heard recently from a friend that the rhododendrons are starting to bud in the mountains, so hopefully there will be flowers in a few weeks. If anyone heads out there soon, please share your findings in a trip report! 

Winter Scramble - Eunice Lake & Tolmie Peak Lookout - 5/13 

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“For our route in, we opted to head in the West Boundary trail and then head cross country to reach Eunice lake and finally the lookout.  For those not familiar with this area this is not the typical route in.  In order to do this our group packed in nearly every single piece of scramble gear imaginable.  We were all loaded down with full avalanche rescue gear, ice axes, snowshoes, and crampons as well as the group gear we might need if things did not go as planned.  Needless to say we were all carrying a bit of weight.”

The weather doesn't always break. Sometimes it gives you snow instead. Check out this detailed trip report exemplifying good decision-making when planning an early season trip to one of Mount Rainier’s most popular summer destinations. 

Alpine Scramble - Foss Peak - 5/14


“I joked with the group that they should get their intermediate snowshoeing badge after ascending 2,350 cumulative feet in challenging conditions.  I did not hear any gripes on the trip at all though I knew that the scramble did challenge a couple of them.  But, we all agreed that it was good Type 1 fun.” 

Even when the weather forecast changes, sometimes it's still best to go out and continue your adventure anyways. Although there was talk about canceling the trip, this ambitious bunch carried on. All in all, it sounds like this turned out to be one of those days where when you get back to the car, all you can think is: wow, I can’t believe I did that… but I’m so happy I did. From assessing risk to keeping everyone motivated for a challenging day in the mountains, this trip report is well worth a read. 

Sail - Frolic, Des Moines Marina - 5/14


“Beautiful sunny day and lots of learning.  Great job students!"

Dogs like sailing, too. These adorable canine skippers are a big reason why I included this trip report - I couldn’t resist!

Bikepack - Klickitat Trail - 5/14-15


“Definitely a route to have on your radar either for bikepacking or as a day bike ride without gear.” 

Congrats on a successful first bikepacking trip of 2022! There’s nothing better than ideal weather and time for R&R at camp, while also riding 46 miles in two days. Plus, be sure to click on the link in this trip report to see more great shots from an adventure on the Klickitat railroad trail. 

Sea Kayak - Skagit & Hope Islands - 5/15

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“Nice to see the improved beach access for sea kayakers at Cornet Bay!... What better way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Seattle’s decision not to build a nuclear power plant at the east end of the Deception Pass area than with a 7+ nautical mile paddle around Skagit and Hope Islands?”

Thanks to the national Marine Weather forecast and the Windy app, this group was able to take advantage of a day-sized hole in the blustery weather of late to get out for a successful paddle. 

Day Hike - Mount Defiance–Starvation Ridge - 5/22

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“Our group of eleven Mazamas started at 6:30 a.m. from the Starvation Creek trailhead on a beautiful blue sky day with temps in the low 50s. We enjoyed an abundance of wildflowers on the switchbacks leading up to the ridge. But Poison Oak is beginning to encroach the trail up to around 1,500' elevation, and required some interesting body contortions to avoid it.”

Did you know that your benefits as a Mountaineers member include shared member rates with several other outdoor organizations if you are visiting their area? Our partners over in Oregon are the Mazamas, and Mountaineers hike leader Nancy Lloyd joined them this month for a hike at Mount Defiance. In this trip report, hear about their trip along a narrow ridge with breathtaking views. Good views and good weather almost always make for a good hike. Hard to believe, I know, but this report is proof. 

Backpack - Baker Lake - 5/22-23

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“Beautiful trail, weaving through moss-covered forested areas along the lake-side, with stunning views of Baker reflecting on the lake peeking out from time to time. However, all camps along the trail were VERY busy!”

Heads up, blowdowns along the trail to Baker Lake may require careful attention to pass safely. Also, as backpacking season gets going, it’s helpful to have a Plan A and Plan B (and, honestly, Plan C) for where you’ll pitch camp. Many of our favorite spots can get crowded and, as this report describes, walking back to the car is not a desirable situation. 

Basic Alpine Climb - South Early Winter Spire/Southwest Couloir - 5/22

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“The rocks going to the summit still held some snow so we kept our crampons on and protected the short scramble. At the summit we were treated to warm sun and terrific views in every direction.”

Check out this report for good beta, incredible photos, and a spontaneous meetup. We love when our Mountaineers community joins forces mid-route!

Lead image by Stephen Sugiyama.

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