One of my goals for 2022 is to explore Tahoma (Mount Rainier) every month of the year. Why? Because Tahoma is my favorite place to hike and yet I tend to go to the same places over and over. There’s nothing wrong with that: I hope I get to Burroughs Mountain to see the alpine flowers every year I can.
When I did some research, I found an excellent site by Shawn Hargreaves with the handy name of Hiking Tahoma. Shawn is a kindred spirit, he’s laid out a clever interactive map of all the maintained trails on Tahoma. I am now studying what to explore over the year. A few trails that I need to try out: Boundary Trail to Florence Peak, Camp Muir, Eagle Peak, Eastside PCT Loop, Klapatche Park, Northern Loop, South Puyallup Pipe Organ and Tamanos Mountain. I also want to get back to some lesser known trails such as Curtis Ridge. So many hikes, so little time. I feel a need to focus on Tahoma. Along with hiking, I aspire to observe and understand the natural history on each of my hikes.
Meanwhile, I did make it to Tahoma on 27 January, 2022. My friend Mike and I had a great day on the mountain. We snowshoed about 5 km (3 miles) with about 400 meters (1400 ft) of elevation gain. As you can see from the photo, we had nice weather. In fact, it was much nicer up here than in the cold, foggy Puget Trough thanks to a temperature inversion. It was a four volcano day: Tahoma, Adams, Hood, and Mount St Helens were all visible. If you look near the upper right corner, I think you can see the road where we started far below.
I was able to see a few plants and trees along the way. Here are my naturalist observations for 24 January 2022. My plant of the day was a patch of common juniper growing in a rocky, windswept areas at 2000 meter (6600 feet). This was our lunch spot.
We worked pretty hard heading up. Coming down , we were able to get in a couple of glissades ( in other words, slide on our butts in the snow done some steep slopes). After some hard work, I was happy to stop at the Copper Creek Restaurant and see WE HAVE PIES. Specifically, delicious blackberry pie. Hmm, there may have been ice cream as well.