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Utah Runcation – Zion, Escalante, San Rafael Swell, & Moab

Kaytlyn and I both recently transitioned to new jobs, and in that process, the timing fortuitously worked out such that we could take a few days off to escape this particularly dreary Seattle winter. We packed a bunch of running/adventuring gear, purchased some flights, and headed south to the deserts of Utah.

I’ll let the photos do most of the showcasing of our trip, but I do want to share a high-level recap of how we spent our days, plus some lessons learned that will influence how we travel in the future.

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Fastpacking on a Whim @ Rainbow Lake

With summer fast approaching, Kaytlyn and I decided to go for a quick after-work fastpack in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness just west of Snoqualmie Pass.

Katy had about a 14-hour window between time-points at lab, so we decided a great way to take advantage of the time would be to unwind in the woods, by a lake. It helped that the weather was shaping up to be excellent: no wind, low in the high-40’s at ~4000′, and clear.

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Mt. Maude/Entiats

A few years ago, we hiked the Leroy Carne High Route and camped/explore the Larch-filled alpine playground. That trip had its fair share of adventures, but one of the biggest takeaways for Katy and I was that we wanted to come back and scramble to some of the Entiat summits.

When this early-October weekend came around, we got lucky with some gorgeous, warm, clear weather, so we hopped in the car and drove east towards the hills. We were rewarded with an awesome adventure and gorgeous autumn colors.

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Goat Rocks 2015 – Good views.. of the tent.

When Katy’s brother, Mitch, let us know he was visiting for Labor Day Weekend, we started asking “which thing should we do?”
However, before we know it, we ended up asking “which thing can we do?”

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Summer Running – Granite-Pratt Lakes-Defiance Loop

28 miles and 9,500′ of awesome.

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Summer Running – PCT Long Run

The PCT, going north from Snoqualmie Pass until whenever you choose to turn around, is quickly becoming one of my favorite runs. It’s beautiful ridge running with awesome views into the mountains and valleys of the central cascades.

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Summer Running – McAlester Pass Loop

The pacific northwest has been stuck in a pretty rough heat wave lately, with temps in the upper 80s. It’s definitely in contrast to our usual June temperatures, which we PNW-ers both begrudgingly and endearingly tend to call June-uary.

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Mt Rainier – DC Route – June 2015

Ever since last year’s unsuccessful summit attempt on Mount Rainier, we’ve had our eye on Washington’s tallest, and arguably most famous mountain.

This spring we started brewing plans again. After numerous doodle polls, availability changes, adjustments for our ridiculously low-snow winter, we finally nailed down a crew and timeline: Brad, Kyle, Jarrod, Kaytlyn, and I planned to go up the weekend of June 20th, weather conditions permitting.

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Mt Adams – 2015

Ever since Katy got her first taste of volcanos when we climbed Mt. Hood a couple years ago, we’ve been meaning to have a proper ‘Volcano Season’.

This year, with the low snow year and an itch to get some spring/summer skiing in, we laser sights on ascents and ski-descents on some of Washington’s snowy, glaciated high points.

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Summer Running – PCT

18 Miles of fun! An out and back on the PCT from Snoqualmie Pass to right before the drop to Joe Lake.

First 9 miles = I had major LBS and legs wouldn’t wake up. Read more →