For those of you in the dark, don't worry. You're not alone. Most of TNAB's hikes are in the dark, too. But like a tiki torch or a headlamp here's some background to illuminate the subject. TNAB is the Thursday Night After Burners and we hike every Thursday night from the Spring Equinox to the Autumn Equinox. For good measure we have a few other special dates, too, like the day after Thanksgiving and the Winter Solstice. I generally hike the early and late parts of the season and a few special mountains in the height of the summer. However, the Pine Lake concert series usually gets me for July and August.
This year marked the first that Mark wasn't the leader of TNAB. He had passed the torches (literally) to three new "non-leaders" at the Winter Solstice party on Little Mt. Si. It was also the first year Poo Poo Point was on the schedule.
Poo Poo is a launching point for paragliders above Issaquah. I'd been there about five years ago and my recollection matches the report I wrote indicating it wasn't all that exciting. Back in 2004 we took the trail from the high school, but this time we were using the much shorter trail from the paragliders' landing zone.
The high school trail is more like a road while this trail (the "Chirico" trail) as steeper and more like... well... a trail. In fact, it was very similar to Little Mt. Si, which I think is a pretty decent little hike even if it is crowded.
I can't usually keep up with the front-runners, but I did pretty well this time. Probably because it's such a short trail. The real test will be in two weeks on Mailbox Peak, which always makes me question my sanity.
At the top we (the hordes of an early season TNAB) braved the rain and talked about the off-season and what was planned for the coming season. We gave a shout-out to Jo, who was recovering from ankle surgery, and then slowly broke up and made our way down the hill. I was back at the car by 7:30 or so and home shortly after.
Dan had also climbed with us and with luck he'll make more TNAB trips. Poo Poo Point, at 3.5 miles and just under 1,800 feet of gain was a good intro. The real pain starts when the snow melts. I can hardly wait.