Sunday, December 28, 2014

Favorites of 2014

I'm very fortunate and thankful that 2014 was another safe and fun year of outdoor adventures. New trails, new friends, a lot of wonderful memories... My mileage and gain stats aren't very interesting, but here are a few of the things I enjoyed most this year:

Favorite trails (new to me)

Stetattle Ridge, North Cascades

Looking south down Stetattle Ridge, September 2014
Boundary Trail, Pasayten Wilderness

Southern Bauerman Ridge on the Boundary Trail, June 2014
High Pass, Glacier Peak Wilderness

Sir-Hikes-a-Lot at High Pass, October 2014; also one of my favorite pictures of the year

Favorite trail (repeat)

Copper Ridge, North Cascades

Whether it's a day hike to the lookout, the 55km loop including the ridge and Chilliwack River, or during a point-to-point outing, it's just a wonderful place to be.

Copper Ridge, August 2014
Uncle Pete on Copper Ridge, October 2012

Favorite pieces of gear (new)

Patagonia Strider Pro shorts and Meister Compression Sleeves

Thanks be to Dave for the shorts tip: nice lightweight material, large stretchy pockets and the drawcord on the outside! Every pair of shorts should be like that. I did remove the liner, but otherwise I wore these shorts on almost every long mountain run. Paul turned me onto the sleeves: half the price of some trail running brands and with better compression. Of course, who knows if they actually work, but I still wear them a lot and at the least my legs don't get too scratched up from PNW brush.

With all of my favorite gear, Spider Meadows, October 2014; Ethan's photo

Favorite pieces of gear (old)

Salomon S-Lab 12L vest and Pearl Izumi Trail N2 shoes

Two pieces of gear I wear on every long run. At least three other people I run with ended up buying the same pack; it's simply very solid and versatile. The N2s also are still working for me and a couple of contest-won pairs from Phil at 7 Hills helped out.

Shameless, I know...

Favorite post-run meal

'59er Diner, Coles Corner

This has to be a new ritual when headed to the Entiat-Leavenworth area. Ethan, Kate and I had two memorable meals there: me sleeping on the table; Ethan being quizzed by a server why he would order a beer and a milkshake; "Flo" giving us a Washington State Recreation Guide for Disabled Persons; and breakfast with milkshakes for dinner.

Favorite race

Has to be Plain. Though Gorge Waterfalls 100km is a very close second.

Me, Paul and TimG in Mad Meadow during Plain, September 2014; Will Thomas photo 
The finish line amenities

Favorite moment


Approaching Beaver Pass around 9am and 20 miles into my day, two grizzled characters were coming down the switchbacks toward me. The guy in front looked like an outdoor, bearded version of Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson, glasses included. With paddles sticking out of their hefty packs they were either doing some awesome pack rafting or were planning on going self-powered across Ross. As I got close to him, he emphatically said, "YEAH SON, GET IT!" It was not what I was expecting to hear, but it gave me a great shot of excitement that without exchanging any words, I felt like he understood what I was trying to do that day.

Favorite animal sighting

Spawning sockeye salmon, Indian Creek

I've seen spawning salmon before, but this was really special; August 2014


  1. Copper Ridge accessed stateside? Or is there access north of the border? Looks like a great training route for Fat Dog, details in your strava?

    Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Gareth,
      You could hike the Chilliwack trail from Canada (semi-illegal?) but it's a bushwhack. Best to pop over the border and head out Mt. Baker Highway. Here's the park page on it (map link at bottom):

      Happy holidays to you too!