31

Happy birthday to me!

Another year has passed. Since last year I’ve grown a little bit wiser, a lot happier, and noticeably grayer of fur (but let’s not talk about that).

Scott and his yellows

As I’ve done the last four years, I celebrated my birthday on Iron Peak. For a while, it looked like it might not happen this year; I felt sick all day Friday and we had to turn around and go home that night when an overturned semi closed Snoqualmie Pass for three hours.

Team Stout

I woke up feeling better, if not well, on Saturday, and we caravaned to the Teanaway with Scott, Dani, and a ridiculous amount of dogs.

Another great group shot

There was much less snow on Iron Peak than usual! I don’t think we’re actually having an early melt, though, it’s just that the snowpack has been so insane the last couple of years that we’ve become used to finding snowbound trails long into August. Either way, I’m happy. This, I think, will be the summer.

JK's beer fridge on Iron Peak

We enjoyed brews on the summit (except for Scott, who had enjoyed a few too many the night before), played with our six dogs, and traded war stories of past trips. Scott pointed out the route he climbed up Mount Stuart, and I resolved to never, ever do anything of the sort.

We heart the Teanaway

Did you know that there’s a trail up the ridge to Iron? We didn’t, since it’s been hidden under snow on all our previous ascents. I still managed to find a couple of good snow patches to glissade on the way down, though.

Back to the saddle again

We made our way back down to the cars, said goodbye to Scott, Dani, and their pack of dogs, then set off to find a place to camp. Instant success – our favorite campsite was free!

– Iron Peak | 7.5 miles | 2600 feet elevation gain –

We snagged our favorite campsite

We stayed in this exact site in 2010, and it’s simply perfect. It’s hidden from the road, so it offers full privacy, no need to leash the dogs, you have your own babbling brook, a separate cooking area, and a pretty field of shooting stars.

Field of shooting stars

One of my favorite things about the Teanaway – and the Eastern Cascades in general – is the sweet smell of the vanilla-scented ponderosa pines, nature’s Wunderbaum. My nose hadn’t fully clogged up yet, so I spent a lot of time just leaning back and inhaling. Aaaahh.

Bliss

I woke up on Sunday morning, my actual birthday, with a full-blown cold. It quickly became apparent that there wouldn’t be any hiking that day, so instead we spent our time reading in the sun, drinking coffee, and eating birthday cupcakes (courtesy of Andreas, who has perfected a gluten-free version of my favorite vanilla cupcakes).

Wellie acts like a dog, part one Happy 31!

I told JK it was my favorite birthday yet, and it really was. I think 31 will be a very good year.

Basil packs our bags

Oh, and we stopped at the Pass and walked the dogs around Gold Creek Pond on the way home, so we kinda sorta hiked after all.

Gold Creek Pond

– Gold Creek Pond | 1? mile | just about 0 feet elevation gain –

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4 Responses to “31”

  1. Lisa Says:

    What a cool way to celebrate your birthday. I love traditions like that. :)

  2. Mary Says:

    Happy 31st. If my birthdays included camping and views like that, I wouldn’t complain about getting older!

  3. Kelsie Says:

    Happy 31st! May the coming year be full of awesome adventures!

  4. Corrina Says:

    Happy 31st! I skied Iron Peak last May and it remains in my memory one of my favorite spring skis.

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