Top 5 Trip Reports - January 2022

Every month, we sort through all your trip reports, pick our favorites, and celebrate them here! Read on for the best from January 2022.
Issy Steckel Issy Steckel
Communications Associate
February 01, 2022
Top 5 Trip Reports - January 2022

Getting outside during the winter poses a special set of challenges, and checking road and trail conditions becomes even more important as snow and ice cover many of our destinations. Conditions in early January were especially dicey, with record-setting snowfall closing all four nearby mountain passes, high avalanche risk predicted in the Cascades and Olympics, and flood warnings in place across much of Western Washington.

What I'll say next likely comes as no surprise: Mountaineers were creative in finding ways to play in the outdoors throughout the month. We’re highlighting our favorite trip reports from your recent adventures, including a winter scramble, a snow camping adventure, a stewardship day at Tolmie State Park, an intermediate snowshoe in the Methow Valley, and a photography reflection on an article from our winter edition of Mountaineer magazine.

Winter Scramble - First Top, Lake Angeles Loop - 1/15

Erin Vagely.jpeg

“An incredibly dramatic setting, from the fog covered Strait of Juan de Fuca, the looming wall of Klahhane Ridge to the south, and the chilly/brooding Lake Angeles after sunset (replete with a rising moon). Throw in a couple Salish Sea cruises plus a great workout (~5500’, 12 miles) and you’ve got a pretty good day.”

The vista shots in this trip report are so gorgeous, you’ll want to strap on your micro-spikes and climb up 5,500 feet just to see it for yourself.

Stewardship - Tolmie State Park - 1/15


“It was quite a team effort.  At one point I thought we were dead stuck in the mud, but your determination and indefatigable spirit kept us going to a successful and safe stopping point.”

Curious about joining a stewardship activity, but not sure what to expect?

Super Volunteer and Trail Crew Leader Jim French’s trip report from a recent project at Tolmie State Park shares how a hard 8 hours of work makes for a rewarding day outside. The Olympia Stewardship Committee organized a project to replace an 18-foot stretch of boardwalk that was destroyed by a fallen tree. In case that didn’t already sound challenging enough, the task was especially difficult because a stream flows under the boardwalk decking, making it tough to build a solid base. As this trip report demonstrates, these volunteers were up to the challenge. Read about how everyone chipped in and learn how you can get involved in an upcoming project.

Intermediate Snowshoe - Lookout Mountain (Methow Valley) - 1/15

Snowshoe Report.jpeg“WTA’s route description says there are not much views before the summit, but we found that not to be true. The views slowly get wider, and there are only occasional trees, but indeed, the lookout affords a 360 view.”

In this trip report, Louise Suhr shares stunning shots and stellar advice from a mid-January snowshoe to Lookout Mountain.  Sounds like a great trip to find solitude in the mountains! Plus, a tip for anyone considering this route: keep in mind that 4855’ is more of an intermediate snowshoe destination, and the summit is more of a winter scramble destination given the overall distance and elevation gain.

Intermediate Snowshoe - Mazama Ridge (Mount Rainier) - 1/22 to 1/23


"We had an excellent weather forecast and perfect snow conditions for a classic overnight trip to Mazama Ridge."

This trip is what snowshoe and snow camping dreams are made of. Check out Alina Badus's full report to learn tips and tricks for getting an overnight wilderness permit, arguably the most challenging part of this intermediate snowshoe outing. 

Photography - Ptarmigan Ridge


"The article 'It Doesn't Always Take a Village' (great read) posted by The Mountaineers inspired me to share this empty trail shot. Also, there are many shots on the net but I have not seen any of only the trail itself. I hope it's helpful for those visiting for the first time as the volcanic nature of the terrain is a rather uncommon sight. For me, it feels very different than the other trails I have taken. Its desolate vibe is quite appealing to me."

Sergio Rojo shares a trail shot that he took during his first hike of the Ptarmigan Trail. Though the trip didn't technically take place this past month, Sergio was inspired to post this trip report after reading Mountaineers guidebook author Craig Romano's piece, "It Doesn't Always Take a Village," in the winter edition of Mountaineer magazine - so it made the cut. Read Sergio's full report here

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

Lead image by Alina badus. 

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