Archive for February, 2010

Another weekend, another cabin

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Since 2010 is turning into the Year of Cabin Trips, we kept the tradition going by spending the weekend in and around Washington Alpine Club’s Guye Cabin by Snoqualmie Pass. The cabin is much bigger and fancier than I expected it to be – if we didn’t have two annoying little dogs (naah, I like ‘em), we would probably spend quite a few nights up there.

Guye Cabin

Anyhoo, the objective of the weekend was to learn about avalanche rescue (and, more importantly, avalanche avoidance) and snow shelters as part of the WAC’s Winter Backcountry Travel class. It was a very fun, informative, and inspiring (as in I will do anything I possibly can to avoid having to dig my friends’ lifeless (most likely) bodies out of the snow) weekend. I’m glad I’m taking an avalanche class this early in my snow travel career, before I’ve had time to do anything really stupid.

Other noteworthy happenings this weekend: the sun was out. We needed sunglasses. And sunscreen. Hells yeah!

Working on the railroad Success! Guys and Guye

We didn’t walk around much this weekend, which suited my gimpy foot perfectly. All the resting seemed to have helped, so on Monday I decided to join JK for our regular three-mile dog walk around the neighborhood. My foot cooperated nicely until mile 1.5, when all hell broke lose. At that point I didn’t really have much choice but to finish the loop (in hindsight I should have ignored my overzealous, cabin fever-ridden soul and chosen a shorter route to begin with), so I grumpily limped back home.

Two more days of rest and icing later, and it’s feeling better again. I’ve also made a conscious decision to be less pissy about the situation since that’s not going to help me, my foot, or the poor fools I interact with on a daily basis. I’ll also take the grumpiness as a good sign, since it means I actually want to be active – a big improvement on the couch-loving Ingunn of yesteryear.

Bad timing…

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

…not that there’s ever a good time to get injured. Still, it would be nice to be able to enjoy this unseasonably amazing weather after weeks of grey skies and drizzle. Even the cherry blossoms are out! I would have killed to be able to go for a run today.

Pink(!) and blue(!)

Instead I am stuck on the couch playing Farmville and watching NBC’s craptastic “coverage” of the Olympics (you would think that living a hop and a skip from Vancouver would ensure the ability to watch the games live, but noooo).

Anyhoo, the top of my foot started hurting last weekend while I was snowshoeing, but I didn’t really think much about it until I went out for a run the next day. It got worse and worse with each step, stabbing pain every time I pushed off with the balls of my foot (which, as I learned afterwards, I shouldn’t be doing when I’m running anyway). Apparently I sprained something in the metatarsal region of my left foot and I’m just going to have to ice and rest (and curse the gods and everyone around me) until it gets better.

Brown Sno-Park Bye bye, snowman

Of course (since I am both stubborn and, let’s be honest, rather lacking in the brainal department), I went hiking this weekend. In my defense, a friend from Norway was in town and we started planning this trip in October. It was just a short hike up to High Hut to spend the night, an equally short hike back to the car the next day, and then a very short snowshoeing excursion to Paradise so the boys could go skiing and snowboarding.

The boyz

Sadly, the spectacular views we had been hoping for were replaced with rain, clouds, fog, blizzards and general shittiness – nothing like our last trip to High Hut. Still, it was better than staying home and playing Farmville…even though it probably prolonged my recovery time. Damnit.

Whee Ninja Smurf

Please excuse the whining nature of this post; I am currently deficient in endorphins, vitamin D and serotonin (and have spent an inordinate amount of time harvesting virtual asparagus), and I am clearly feeling the effects.

A weekend with the Pooperine

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I’ve been waiting for someone else to write a trip report from this thing so I could just post some photos and add a lazy link to their writings, but everyone seems to be afflicted with the same bout of winter laziness.

Come on, slowpoke! Todd

A couple of weeks ago, our group of intrepid hikers (including one snowmobiler and a flock of four-leggers) migrated east of the crest to spend a long weekend at the Table Mountain A-Frame Cabin. Faced with a harrowing 7.5-mile road walk to reach our destination, those of us who weren’t burdened with overloaded pulks chose the shortcut over Diamond Head (cutting 2.5 miles while only adding 300 feet of additional elevation gain).

Mount Rainier Teanaway

The lardier of us (no offense, Jasper!) huffed and puffed up the steep slopes feeling every ounce of our overnight packs (tents had been replaced with wine and fresh produce for this glamping experience). The summit itself was treed and offered no dazzling views, but as we made our way down the ridge, Tahoma and a very pointy Mount Stuart dominated the horizon.

I iz werking dog, carry mah own fud Tisha, Rowena & Tahoma

I choose neither to recount nor remember the remaining road walk up to the cabin.

Settlers of Table Mountain The softest pillow around

Safely ensconced in the a-frame, food was eaten, games were played, drinks were drunk and dogs were used as pillows. At some point during the first night, we realized We Were Not Alone. For some reason I still cannot fathom, I leaned over and shined my headlamp into the vault toilet. I was surprised to see two mice scurrying about in our waste (feasting on undigested pieces of corn, no doubt), but a perusal of the guest book told us that our smelly new pets were known as the Pooperine and his sidekick, Poopacabra.

Table Mountain Cabin

The next day we set out on a never-ending snowshoe to Mount Lillian. Most of us gave up and returned to the cabin to drink, but a handful of travelers made it to the summit. They’ll have to write about that themselves.

More food was eaten, more drinks were drunk, more games were played, and more offerings were made to the Pooperine.

Blue skies! Group shot, part deux Good morrow

On the last morning, our group split once more – the peak baggers set out to conquer each and every bump in the vicinity of the cabin, while the rest of us enjoyed excellent sledding and mini skiing down a nearby hill.

I choose neither to recount nor remember the 7.5-mile road walk back to the trailhead.

Mini ski race

Special thanks to Andrea, Tisha (and their respective menfolk) for arranging this fabulous trip, and to Steve for risking everything in order to safely transport our beer to the cabin…and to everyone else for making it such a great weekend.

For information on how you can book a night in this Moste Excellente of Mountain Dwellings, look here.

Yellow Aster Butte-iful, Revisited

Friday, February 5th, 2010

I haven’t made a scrapbook page since the dawn of time*, but today I felt an uncontrollable urge to make a page about our backpacking trip to Yellow Aster Butte (aka A Place You Must Go to if You Ever Have the Chance).

Butte-iful

(Check out those retro BasicGrey letter stickers! I know the title looks cramped and borderline illegible, but I dug those stickers out from the deepest, darkest depths of my stash and I love ‘em.)

Even though I’m taking an (involuntary) break from scrapbooking, I feel like I should at the very least be documenting our favorite trips so I’ll have something to look at when I am old and grey and decrepit. It’s also a good way to start dreaming about future destinations now that the days are getting longer (hallelujah!) and it looks like summer just might come around again this year.

*November, approximately.

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