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Redwic
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 11:35 pm 
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This is my first trip report or write-up in nearly 15 months. As 2019 comes to a close this evening, so ends my 12th year of peakbagging. I look forward to whatever life has to offer heading into 2020 and beyond. However, I would like to take a few moments to remember the most influential/impactful peaks and peakbaggers in my life during these past 12 years.

PART ONE (THE PEAKS):

HONORABLE MENTION: Dragontail Peak – Visiting this peak was part of a fun trip to the Enchantments involving Adam Walker and Josh Lewis. But without question the most memorable part of the trip was when we descended a ridiculously steep snow slope near Pandora’s Box.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7991572


12) Mount Rainier – The peak that started it all for me, basically. During June 2007, this was the first major peak that I climbed and was nearly my last. Throughout the climbing trip, everyone on our team (myself included) made a series of mistakes and miscalculations, some of which ultimately contributed during our descent to me tumbling 800’ down a glacier before stopping only 50’ from the edge of a ledge. Then subsequent events, injuries, and PTSD from the trip made matters worse. After the trip, I knew I could either choose to quit mountaineering and peakbagging, and I would be OK with that decision, or I could learn from the trip and become a better climber. I chose the latter option, first needing to regain trust in my own instincts plus gaining more experience and training; I did two trips with childhood friends the following month but otherwise it was 10 months before I would start hiking with other people again.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: Private


11) Mount Whitney – This was the first peak I summited after the Mount Rainier trip. I did this trip as a one-day jaunt with my long-time best friend, Chris. One of my favorite moments was when Chris took a siesta on the “99 Switchbacks” section. It was a very long, hot day.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: https://www.summitpost.org/a-mount-whitney-day-dream/607275


10) Mount Baker – Only slightly more than five years after the Mount Rainier trip, I simultaneously completed the Washington County Highpoints, Washington County Prominence Points, and Washington 25-Mile Isolation Peaks list at the summit of Mount Baker. Accompanying me on this trip were Adam Walker, “FJES6” Joe, and his friend Jeremy. Adam gave me a commemorative USGS Benchmark in honor of the list completions, and I still have that gift.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: https://www.summitpost.org/triple-list-completion-at-mount-baker/796937


9) Chikamin Peak – This hike was supposed to be a straightforward summit trip but ended up as a 20-hour, 25-mile roundtrip excursion. One of our teammates had visited the peak years prior but forgotten the route. Then to compound matters further, we kept trying different ways to make the incorrect route work; it looked good on paper as well as with our own eyes but the trek only got longer with each new re-route. Accompanying me on this trip were Mike Collins, Paul Michelson, and his friend Chuck.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8017888


8) Silvertip Mountain – This was my first Canadian ultra-prominence peak, and Silvertip Mountain is the southernmost ultra-prominence peak in Canada. After several peakbagging friends had ill-fated and death-defying ascents via the then-standard north approach, I speculated that an approach from the south would be a better option. Martin Shetter joined me for this trip; it was successful and the peak has spectacular views. In fact, the beta from our trip was then used by many other people; the south approach is now the standard approach for the peak.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8001600


7) Mount Jefferson – Due to technical difficulty and ever-changing conditions, I knew for years that this would be the only peak that could stand in the way of me completing the Oregon County Highpoints. The Lewis Brothers (Josh, Michael) joined me on this trip. The crux section after the Red Saddle took us a while, but above the crux section Josh found a straightforward easy scramble route to the summit. I completed the Oregon County Highpoints 10 months later.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8017321


6) Baldy – This has been one of the crown jewels of my peakbagging. To my knowledge, at the time of this writing, I am still the only peakbagger to have summited this peak. The reason is because the peak is deep within private property, gated and superbly signed, and with video cameras throughout the property. Over the years, many people have been arrested trying to enter the property, with jail time and minimum fines of $10,000-$25,000. What happened with me was a total stroke of luck. After multiple failed attempts by myself and others to get access permission from the property owner, I thought none of us would ever be allowed access. But while talking with someone at a party about peakbagging, another person overheard me mentioning about not being able to get access to Baldy. Unbeknownst to me, that person put their own reputation on the line to speak on my behalf to someone who knew someone who knew someone. One day, I received a telephone call from the property, and I thought it was a prank call. But after answering many questions and agreeing to multiple stipulations, I was granted escorted access to the peak. During the trip, I was also taken to two standing fire lookouts on the property. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to bring any people with me, which caused a rift between myself and several peakbagging acquaintances. I respected, and still respect, the wishes expressed to me by the property owners and workers, who I found to be great people. My hope is that by abiding to those wishes, the property owners will eventually allow other peakbaggers to visit Baldy in the future.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: Private


5) Mount Garibaldi – This peak was the end of an era, of sorts. This was the last trip I would ever do with my friend, Edward Earl, who passed away several weeks later during an expedition in Alaska. This trip had great weather, fantastic views, glacier travel, and technical climbing. Accompanying Edward and I on this trip were Adam Walker, Josh Lewis, Duane Gilliland, and Mark and Austin Smith from Oregon. Although summiting the peak was a great accomplishment, perhaps my favorite part was getting picked up by snowmobilers and riding back to our vehicles in style.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8016523


4) Three Fingers – Summiting this peak was the completion of a personal journey to visit the standing lookouts in Washington. I did it as a 23-hour, 36-mile jaunt, and even got to assist someone with a hurt ankle along the way. Little did I realize at the time that I would gain such a strong interest in continuing to visit fire lookout sites. I have been told that my own journey helped inspire some other people to do similar journeys; I am happy that other peoples’ interest in visiting lookout sites has expanded in the 5-1/2 years since my visit to this peak.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8012113


3) Mount Olympus – This was an awesome trip during which the weather and route conditions worked in our favor. I was accompanied on this trip by Adam Walker and Dave Merrill. As Adam later proclaimed, “44 miles combined with glacier travel and rock climbing in the rainiest part of one of the rainiest states in the country sounds like a daunting challenge.” The views from the summit are still my favorite from any peak in Washington.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7992174


2) Bonanza Peak – Only six days after summiting Mount Olympus, I summited Bonanza Peak. Both peaks are far distances from each other and involve long hikes and technical climbing, so summiting both within such a small timeframe was an achievement. Again, Adam Walker and Dave Merrill accompanied me. Unlike the Mount Olympus trip, our Bonanza Peak trip had poor weather and route conditions. Normally snow-covered terrain was bare or icy, while normally bare terrain was snow-covered. As a result of poor and unexpected conditions, the scramble route was impassable for our team; we had to climb the steep Class 5 rappel route. Our summit trip to/from high camp was over 18 hours and very exhausting. When I reached the summit, I starting crying from emotion after realizing that the other two Washington County Highpoints I still needed to summit (Mount Baker, Big Horn) could not possibly be any more difficult than what we encountered on Bonanza Peak. I was correct and completed my quest for the Washington County Highpoints nearly one year later.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: https://www.summitpost.org/a-bonanza-extravaganza/728619


1) Gannett Peak – To date, the highest mountain in Wyoming is my favorite peak I have ever summited. This trip taught me about nature, people, my instincts and abilities, and experience. Reaching the summit was a great achievement but the overall trip will stay with me for a lifetime. During the trip, my hiking partner, Jack Nally, seriously injured both of his feet. Helping take care of him, then helping take his pack weight while he had to walk the trail in my sandals, then finding an outfitter’s hidden forest camp in an attempt to get further assistance for my partner, then hiking solo in the Wind River Mountains in the dark only to almost be car-jacked at my vehicle, and then meeting up with my partner arriving on horseback the next day… all added up to what was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


TRIP REPORT/PHOTOS: https://www.summitpost.org/gannett-peak-there-and-back-again/530015

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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Redwic
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 11:35 pm 
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PART TWO (THE PEAKBAGGERS):

HONORABLE MENTION: Adam Helman – Easily the quirkiest peakbagger I have ever known, Adam was a true savant and one of the foremost authorities on topographic prominence. I loved reading his various “part of a larger journey” trip reports for county highpoints. What he lacked in ability to understand sarcasm, he more than made of for with babka cakes. Unfortunately, he passed away at his home during January 2015.


12) Eric Noel – The first person to introduce me to topographic prominence, Eric is a very nice person and a great hiking partner. He also introduced me to cell maps, which are fun to update. Initially through Eric, I ended up meeting multiple peakbaggers (some of whom are on this list). I only see Eric once in a while but he is a great guy.


11) Bob Bolton – I have probably not met any peakbagger who has a bigger smile than Bob. He was a major influence to me for county highpoints and prominence peaks. He is a very accomplished peakbagger and we had some great trips together. We gradually drifted apart after the death of a mutual friend but he abruptly stopped all contact with me after I told him that I had visited Baldy (a peak which he and several other peakbaggers had wanted to visit for years) without him, despite the fact it was not by my choice and that I had lobbied for him to be included on the trip. I have learned a lot from Bob and I miss our hikes together. I wish him well.


10) Greg LaSala – We met at a time in my life when I was just warming up to the idea of going hiking and climbing with other people again. He introduced me to NWH and SP websites, which were very helpful resources during my early years of peakbagging. Over the years, I have been on many trips where at least one person has referenced an “EastKing peak” or “EastKing page.” He is a good person with whom I shared some fun hikes. He introduced me to multiple peakbaggers (some of whom are on this list). Sadly, our life paths gradually drifted apart but I have always thought he is a cool guy.


9) Eric Willhite – Someone with whom I share a common interest of lookout sites, Eric is a great hiker and perhaps a better researcher. He is a true inspiration for lookout enthusiasts and I expect we will hear big things about him in the future.


8) Greg Slayden – Perhaps best known for his affiliation with Peakbagger.com, Greg is a very intelligent and accomplished climber. Every outing I have done with him has been fun.


7) Martin Shetter – An exceptional climber, Martin is a great person who shares my interest in topographic prominence. He is always a great hiking partner and is a positive influence.


6) Mike Collins – One of the nicest people I have ever met, it has been a pleasure getting to know Mike. We have gone on several trips together, each one with interesting moments. He is a gifted climber and I wish more people would be like him.


5) The Lewis Brothers (Josh & Michael – tie) – I first met Josh and Michael on a trip to Jolly Mountain nearly 11 years ago. Their passion for mountains was evident right away. Josh was the good-spirited one, and Michael was the down-to-earth one. Both are great guys, and I am a better person by having known them. They have each since become very accomplished climbers. I hope to someday do more trips with them.


4) Paul Klenke – To some people, perhaps even to Paul himself, this spot on the list might come as a surprise. We have not done many trips together during the past 12 years but he has been a big influence on my peakbagging ways. In fact, after I climbed Three Fingers to complete my goal of visiting the standing lookouts in Washington, Paul was the first person who I called. He is an intelligent and sometimes fearless peakbagger, and I love his exceptional wit. Paul, do not let these comments go to your head.


3) Edward Earl – No peakbagger had a greater influence on me regarding topographic prominence more than Edward, and perhaps there will never be another person who understands topographic prominence with more enthusiasm than him. He was a fascinating person with a great mind. I became a prominencian as a result of what I learned from him. Unfortunately, his life ended abruptly when he drowned during an Alaska mountaineering expedition in June 2015. His death changed the course of many peakbaggers’ lives, myself included. Later, I made a shirt in his honor and wore it on a peak that he had long wanted to visit. I dearly miss my friend.


2) Adam Walker – Having visited over 80 peak summits and sites together, we have shared many high-quality peak trips. I never had a brother but Adam is the peakbagger who I have thought of as close as a brother; I will always be there for him if he needs me. Although our life paths have gone separate ways as of recent years, I have a ton of respect for him and I look forward to the day we might hike or climb together again.


1) Paul Michelson – Having visited over 200 peak summits and sites together, more than anyone else in my peakbagging hobby during the past 12 years, Paul is certainly deserving of the top spot on this list. Our common interests are varied, starting with county highpoints followed by prominence peaks followed by lookout sites. Paul is a great hiking partner with whom I can discuss any subject, and I am very thankful that we have become friends.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND NEW DECADE, EVERYONE!!!

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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Bernardo
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 2:32 am 
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Congratulations on getting out and doing some great things with great friends.

Is that a garage or a crevase in the Lewis brothers picture?

Happy 2020.
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Gimpilator
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 6:38 am 
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What a sweet idea for a trip report.  Lots of good memories here and good people.  You were the one that made me think I ought to do more than one peak in a day.  An interesting idea.  Also, I've never laughed more than on the trips we did together.  Let's get together with the Lewis brothers if they want, and do a hike together.  Happy New Year.  smile.gif

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Redwic
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 9:15 am 
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Bernardo wrote:
Is that a garage or a crevase in the Lewis brothers picture?

It is a crevasse on Glacier Peak.

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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Bernardo
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 12:15 pm 
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Very cool.
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williswall
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 2:14 pm 
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This was a very nice read, you are lucky to have shared these fine experiences with fine people.

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Brushbuffalo
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 3:08 pm 
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Happy New Year, Craig!
I very much enjoyed your recent summary of 12 trips and 12 peakbaggers.

A question is which Baldy is it that is private and restricted? Just curious...I would never be interested.

I think it is sad that someone would be mad enough about not being invited to join you such that he estranged himself from you.  What is more important....checking off man- made lists due to topographic peculiarities or having good human relationships?

P.s. If you ever want to hike any of the foothills near me  in Whatcom Co. with prominence (Sumas, Stewart ['Haner', although no one here calls it that), Lookout,  etc. , just contact me.

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Redwic
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 5:46 pm 
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Brushbuffalo wrote:
A question is which Baldy is it that is private and restricted?

Baldy is not in Washington. Regarding the situation, I was honest with everyone about what happened. And I can understand the feeling of not being included; I just never expected things to end up like they did.

Brushbuffalo wrote:
If you ever want to hike any of the foothills near me  in Whatcom Co. with prominence (Sumas, Stewart ['Haner', although no one here calls it that), Lookout,  etc. , just contact me.

Sounds good. Happy New Year.

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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Chief Joseph
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 7:17 pm 
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Nice report! I see you have an interest in fire lookouts, have you been to Lookout Mt in the Idaho Selkirks east of Priest Lake? I went there last summer and it's pretty cool old lookout with a great view of the lake and Selkirk crest.

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Redwic
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 7:54 pm 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
Nice report! I see you have an interest in fire lookouts, have you been to Lookout Mt in the Idaho Selkirks east of Priest Lake? I went there last summer and it's pretty cool old lookout with a great view of the lake and Selkirk crest.

I am aware of it and will make a trip out that way, sometime. Thank you for the suggestion.

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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Matt
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PostWed Jan 01, 2020 11:05 pm 
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Fine list of peak adventures, and especially a fine list of partners.

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Michael Lewis
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 7:41 am 
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Always great to hike with someone with a good sense of humor. Often reminisce of our trips.
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RichP
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 8:09 am 
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Great post, Redwic. Look me up when you're in Idaho. I still haven't got to She Devil.
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Redwic
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PostThu Jan 02, 2020 10:35 am 
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RichP wrote:
Great post, Redwic. Look me up when you're in Idaho. I still haven't got to She Devil.

That is on my "to do" list for this year. I would have done it last year but opted for Diamond Peak, instead.

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace geocaching." -Paul Michelson
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