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2013 Adventure Review
posted by John : January 8, 2013

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Wait... running with snowshoes?

Yes, we adventured a ton in 2013.

I had 99 days of adventures covering 389 miles and 174,622 feet of gain. On 50 of those adventures, one or more of the kids were present. If you exclude the 23 Mailboxes that were early Sunday mornings that means I had only 26 days without the kids. That's what I'm happiest about.

Off the trails/rivers/mountains, I got social. I was asked to return as a Tubbs Ambassador for a second year and continued reviewing gear for Washington Trails Association.

I reset my Twitter account (@moosefish) and started an Instagram account (@mrmoosefish). I even started using my Google+ account. I've met some great people all across the country, was published (and paid!) on other sites, and learned quite a bit.

Of course, no review of the year's adventures would be complete without talking about the trips. Ready for the highlights?

In January, I ran in a snowshoe race. Yeah, there is such a thing. It was 12F and it was way hard. I didn't run in any other snowshoe races. The kids liked to run, though. Especially when it was up and down the Keechelus Dam.

February started with a snowshoe overnight with Clara. Again, it was cold. I guess we shouldn't have been surprised given all the snow. We celebrated a milestone birthday on the beach, but not really the beach Amy was hoping for.

Throughout the first couple of months I'd been lightly testing gear for WTA, but in March it picked up speed as deadlines loomed. I had my first solo overnight and did it in a massive snowstorm on the side of a mountain. Obviously, I survived and I learned a great lesson. (Don't solo on the side of a mountain in a snow storm.)

I'm sure you think I'd never actually learn a lesson, but in April I again showed I can learn in spite of my old dog status. I climbed Mt. Hood and stopped just a few feet short of the summit because the risk was too high. Take that young dogs!

Fast forward to June and we went sandshoeing in the Eastern Washington desert. Yeah, you read that right. "Sandshoeing" is us wearing snowshoes on sand dunes. They provided great flotation, but the sled didn't work worth a darn. The camp afterward was pretty good, though.

On July 4, I broke my hand. Well, not really broke so much as smashed it into a billion tiny pieces. Or at least five pieces. In spite of the injury, we took the kids (and even a bonus friend) letterboxing at Keekwulee Falls. Surgery was three days later and because nobody wants to see those pictures (least of all me) we'll pretend I didn't look like Wolverine with metal sticking out of my hand.

Less than two weeks later we headed south for our first big road trip as a family of five. We visited the Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens, we all descended into the depths of an old lava tube, and I climbed another volcano, South Sister.

Back at home, Henry and I returned to the desert and then immediately headed to The Mountain for our annual backpacking trip. We had a great couple of days at Snow Lake and then came across our first bear on the hike out. Someone might have said, "I'm going after it!" as it ran off, but there's no reason to name names.

Two weeks later, the girls had their turn in the Park for two nights in Berkeley Park. The weather wasn't perfect, but we found plenty of other things to do including SCIENCE! and chasing Lilly to get the Bacon Jerky back.

Thanks to parental duties, I'd missed almost all the TNAB season. However, Amy knew how important Rampart Ridge was and made it work. The sunset lived up to expectations.

Mt. Defiance, Cave Ridge, and Guye Peak were great distractions from Mailbox. The trips were so good it's a wonder we ever returned to Mailbox.

By the end of September, my hand was healed sufficiently such that I could fish again. I spent a few days in Montana with my father. It was a great way to reconnect with one of the traditions from my childhood.

October started with an awesome trip looking for larches, but only found a bit of snow and blue skies on Iron Bear. Thenů



Mailbox. (Twice in one day. A double. 8,000 feet of gain. I'm an idiot.)

In November, we finally got some snow at the Pass and went nightshoeing with the kids. Then the snow melted away. We had to ride a gondola at Crystal Mountain to find snow and we got some bonus views of Mount Rainier right in our face.

The year ended with a pair of snowy trips at last. An FDA (First December Ascent) of Granite Mountain and a reminder that I should always, always carry my ice axe came first. Then in the waning days of the month I took the kids up the Snow Lake Trail far enough to remind them how awesome it is to go outside.

I hope they never forget. I'm pretty sure I never will.

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