Top 10 Trip Reports - September 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 September 2022.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
October 06, 2022
Top 10 Trip Reports - September 2022

It’s that time of year when our favorite places begin to change. The pinks and purples of summer are fading to fiery yellows and reds of fall. Trailheads are welcoming the blanket of autumn fog that keeps our hiking cool while obscuring summit views. Temperatures are dropping, and we’re preparing to exchange our backpacks and paddles for crampons and skis. 

Perhaps the change of season is making us all sentimental because this month’s trip reports are heavily imbued with deep appreciation for the natural features and recreational opportunities of the Pacific Northwest, and many reports share heartwarming gratitude for the community our members have found within The Mountaineers. Read on for some of our favorite trip reports this September, including a pleasant sea kayaking trip, an arduous climb, plenty of alpine scrambles, and a surprise August trip report that was so great we had to include it in this month’s blog. Oh, and make sure you have your tissue-box nearby. 

Alpine Scramble and Trail Run - Lynch Peak and Jade Lake Loop - 9/18


It was the kind of day in the mountains that made me more humble to continue to learn as a student in the mountain classroom. There is also a growth of curiosity for the landscapes in the Cascades and a reaffirmation of how much more full-hearted adventures and exploration could expand over a lifetime. In the end, this is just another love letter to the Cascades!” - By Wanhe Zhao 

This trip report is a love letter to the Cascades indeed, and probably one of the most joyful trip reports I have ever read. If not for the beta, check out this report for the overwhelming amount of happiness reflected in the report and in the photos, like rapturous dancing through snow, joyous scrambling uphill, and the most sapphire blue lake you'll ever see. This report is motivational in its reflections of how much these hikers have learned since they first entered the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and honest in its explanations of shortcomings and how to better prepare for future trips. Reading this trip report will make you feel exceptionally lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest!

Alpine Scramble - Double Peak - 9/3


“A very strenuous/pristine trip (~14 miles, ~5400’ gain), and unlike the usual Double Peak outing, it had zero bugs, zero devils club, and zero avalanche hazards. This new route required all the game-trail-following/brushcraft skills in our respective toolsets, made even more challenging by persistent clouds that added a bit of mystery…” -By Dave Morgan

If you're looking for a highly entertaining read, this trip report reads like a humorous comic book filled with plenty of photos paired alongside funny – and informative – asides. Heavy fog plagued these scramblers during various points in the journey, like the initial descent upward when determining which route to take and the summit arrival that anticipated sweeping views. In times of obscurity, these scramblers opted for what we all think – or at least what I think – is the best part of adventuring: snacking. Fortunately this paid off on both occasions with a visible trail and some visible (for the most part) summit views. During their scramble they also witnessed the remnants of past avalanches, heard some elk chatter, and even came across a summit register chewed by snaffle hounds. Who knew snaffle hounds had an appetite for hiking history. 

Alpine Scramble - The Palisades & Marcus Peak - 9/24


“After a quick break to get photos and rest we continued on our route around the lake and up to the saddle between Marcus and Palisades peak… Once we arrived at the basin between the two peaks we took another quick break, helmeted up and asked our star of the day which peak was going to be number 50?  Marcus was the reply so off we went.” - By Jerrick Linde 

What better reason to go on a trip than to help a fellow Mountaineer achieve a landmark hike? Full of fantastic photos (including an epic sunrise shot and an even more epic 50 Peaks of Rainier summit photo), this trip report is real heartwarming and excellently captures the beauty of Rainier National Park. After summiting the Marcus peak they even did round two by knocking off Palisades and helping their fellow hiker get one step closer to the next 100 hikes of Rainier award. Congrats on reaching 50!

Climb - Johannesburg Mountain/East Ridge - 9/18 - 9/19


“Johannesburg Mountain stands out. Although its 8200 ft height is relatively modest, it looms above the Cascade Pass area and draws your attention from everywhere nearby. It is visually imposing with a craggy summit and steep and rugged flanks. None of the climbing routes are easy and, compared to some of the other area peaks, it is infrequently climbed.” -By Stephen Sugiyama

This trip report recounts arduous climbing conditions, lots of exposed areas, and stressful circumstances determining how to traverse the loose rock. The climbing required a great deal of mental focus, and it sounds like the group did an excellent job working together and collaboratively thinking through route possibilities. Although they had a false summit, they eventually made it to the desired peak where they started a new summit register book and enjoyed terrific views that weren’t much affected by the wildfire smoke. The tricky conditions made for a reluctant but successful descent, and the group eventually made it back to the trailhead by 11pm. Bravo for such an accomplished climb!

Sea Kayak - San Juan Islands from Anacortes - 9/10


“This trip reminds me of why I started sea kayaking.  I can’t think of a nicer crew to have done it with and I am reminded of how blessed we are with our beautiful San Juan Islands paddling playground!” -By Lisa Johnson

Reading this trip report is like opening a Jane Austen novel. Rich with sensory observations and detailed environmental descriptions, this report makes you feel like you’re right in the water with them hearing birdsong and spotting seals and sea stars. These kayakers had to deal with some less than ideal air quality but at least enjoyed a blood-red sunrise and sunset and kept spirits high with enjoyable company. It sounds like you all had a magical time together! 



“It was a challenging, memorable, hike for the CHS students; the teamwork they displayed was a testimonial to what they've learned from their experiences this past summer!” -By Nancy Lloyd

This trip report is accurately described as a testament to the teambuilding and skills learned over the course of the Conditioning Hiking Series Course. The report is thorough in its details of trail conditions, including great photos of the rocky traverse required on the way to Panhandle Gap. The river crossing sounded difficult, but everyone was game for getting their feet wet! Noted on this hike was the change of seasons –“Autumn was in the air” as evidenced by wilted wildflowers and increasing shades of brown. Although challenging, it sounds like this hike was a marvelous success and worthy of celebration! 

Alpine Scramble - Gobblers Knob - 9/17


“...this was a very reasonable traverse and a great navigation/route finding exercise.  A wonderful day in the mountains with a total time of ~10 hours over ~14 miles with ~4000’ of elevation gain.” -By Dave Morgan

This trip report offers exciting wayfinding experimentation as scramblers, unable to successfully summit the peak in mind, navigated their way through ridges connecting the northwest spur of Mount Wow to the Goat Lake Gobblers Knob trail. Channeling their inner mountain-goat they scrambled up steep mountainsides and managed to capture some awesome photos along the way! Cheers to a happy and well-navigated scramble! 

Day Hike - Mildred Point - 9/3


“The fog was thick all day, so our hoped for mountain views didn't pan out. There were a few blue berries and huckleberries, but apparently they weren't in full force yet, and not many wildflowers. None of the above mattered much though, because we simply enjoyed each others company and appreciated a day out in the freedom of the hills!” -By Nancy Lloyd

This trip report is full of enthusiasm for the outdoors and the wonderful hiking company who participated. These hikers had the trail mostly to themselves as they didn’t encounter many other hikers. Although thick fog covered the trail and blocked summit views, they got to enjoy some blueberries and huckleberries lining the trail and made friends with a spider observing from their dew-covered web. Beware of the sandy steps on this trail that resemble arduous beach-walking more than actual trail hiking. 

Alpine Scramble - Red Mountain - 9/24


“We traversed over to the ridge which involves some heather and loose rock. Once on the ridge it's a bit easier to find solid rock but there's more loose rock than I remember! Need to be careful and mange the group safely to avoid party inflicted rock fall.” -By Jacob Whitbeck

This trip report boasts plenty of happy photos with smiling faces that look stoked to be outside in the mountains. During the ascent and descent the scramblers were cautious traversing loose rock to avoid injury. The summit was successful and hikers got to enjoy beautiful views with clear blue skies and autumnal colors in the surrounding foliage. Congrats on the successful summit everyone!

Alpine Climb - Mount Shuksan/Fisher Chimneys - 8/19-8/21


“This was a fun climb, and a huge confidence booster.  My goal for the summer of 2022 was to reinvigorate my goal of leading alpine climbs; the last time I had led anything was back in 2016-2017; and at that time, I had led a few multi-pitch rock climbs to 5.7 but nothing truly alpine.  Not only did I climb my two hardest alpine routes to-date over these back to back weekends but led them, and led them while teaching two brand new climbers overcoming a variety of alpine climbing challenges.”  -By Nathan Derrick

This is a phenomenal trip report, thoroughly detailing the context of the climb, the thought process that went into planning (including packing photos separated by categories of equipment), and the route-finding, trail conditions, and technical climbing/scrambling involved each day. Luckily for us, the trip leader decided to put up with the extra camera weight and captured some incredible shots (all paired with captions) of the mountain. This trip report is not only a great recounting of the climb but an excellent read on how to maintain encouragement and safety when managing a trip with brand new climbers. A huge congrats on such a successful climb and a big bravo to the leader for empowering folks to get into the mountains!  

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