Matt Kurjanowicz: Blog en-us (C) Matt Kurjanowicz (Matt Kurjanowicz) Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:44:00 GMT Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:44:00 GMT Matt Kurjanowicz: Blog 120 90 Poo Poo Point (Chirico Trail) - March 26, 2014 The weekly Wednesday pilgrimage to the trails brought us to the Chirico trail leading up to Poo Poo Point. At 1.9 miles each way, with 1800 feet of elevation gain, the trail is short, sweet, and at times steep.

Our evening started out wading through sticky mud in the paraglider landing area. Past that, the trail began climbing up the mountain. Here the trail is in good condition and has plenty of stones to help prevent erosion. I would not want to bring a litter down this trail! While sufficiently wide for hiking, the first half of the trail traverses across a fairly steep slope. Rocky, rutted terrain underfoot, inability to have folks on both sides of the litter, and a steep downhill would be ... interesting.

After the halfway point, conveniently marked by a bench to rest at, the trail widens and becomes less steep.

The trail forks three ways when it reaches the lower takeoff point. Going left is the proper trail. Having never been up there before, I chose poorly and went straight. This takes you straight up the hill.

The upper takeoff point is not far beyond the first, lower one. We reached the top, took a few quick pictures, and made our way down without event.

I don't normally like Tiger Mountain, but this trail could become a favorite. It's steep enough that it gives a good workout, has a great view at the top, and is close to civilization.

Stats: 3.8 miles roundtrip; 1697ft elevation gain; 1hr,44min,51sec

Poo Poo Point Summit PostPoo Poo Point Summit PostThe group at the top of Poo Poo Point. Thanks Kristin's Phone!
Rating: **


]]> (Matt Kurjanowicz) ESAR Hike Issaquah Poo Poo Point Tiger Mountain Trip Report Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:43:24 GMT
March 2014 Bluebird Spring Skiing Blue skies. Warm temps. Good snow. Great friends. Today was good, very good. There's not much else to say.

]]> (Matt Kurjanowicz) Ski Patrol Snoqualmie Pass Sun, 23 Mar 2014 23:40:18 GMT
Dirty Harry's Balcony - March 21, 2014 Restless after doing errands and working all day, I took the opportunity of a beautiful spring day to go for a hike. Seeing crowds at the usual suspects, I went a little further out to find some quite and solitude. Dirty Harry's Balcony is one of my favorite places to visit. It's close to home, is a reasonable workout, and has a great view. I hadn't been up there since last autumn, so it seemed like a natural choice.

Temperatures quickly fell as I climbed out of North Bend. With blue skies and sun, and temps in the low 40's, I started on my way up the mountain. I immediately ran into a dusting of snow. The cut-through trail from the parking lot to the fire academy road was covered. Footprints helped me stay on trail.

I made my way along the road to the actual start of the trail. The usual rubble was covered by about an inch of snow. Up I went, traveling along the creek through the usual route. In some cases the snow helped smooth out the trail. Other spots had just enough snow cover to make the wet rocks slippery.

The snow deepened as I climbed up the trail, ranging from nothing to a few inches. I arrived at the turnoff for the balcony and decided to keep going up. There weren't any tracks going further up the mountain and it turned out to be rough going. I made it another 0.55 miles up the trail before the going got slippery. I had never been up this far, the snow was already over my ankles, and I didn't know if the steep switchbacks would be in avalanche terrain, so I turned around.

Getting back to the balcony area, I followed footsteps to ... not the balcony. Checking the map, I eventually followed the correct set of tracks and found the expected, beautiful, expanse of a view.

After a few drinks of water, I left the top and started back down the trail. The descent was uneventful.

Stats: 5.9 mi round trip, 1917ft elevation gain | 2014 Totals: 10.9mi, 3117ft elevation gain

]]> (Matt Kurjanowicz) Dirty Harry's Balcony Exit 38 Hike Trip Report Sat, 22 Mar 2014 04:43:49 GMT
Trip Report - Little Si - March 19, 2014 The evening of Wednesday, March 19th, marked the first of the weekly Wednesday night hikes. I picked and old, gentle, favorite to get us started - Little Si.

Our group was rather large, amounting to 10 folks from ESAR, 4x4, and Ski Patrol. It was great to see some of the old, regular faces and to see some new blood in the mix.

Mother nature decided that this was the day that she was going to dump on us. I woke up to pouring rain in North Bend. Mentally prepared for the worst, I was happy to find an absence of rain that afternoon. By the time we started hiking, Her plans had changed and we were in for a wet, hail-filled journey.

The trail is in good condition with minimal blow down, washouts, or other obstacles. Nobody was climbing on any of the walls, go figure. We made it to the top without surprise or incident to find a socked in view of fog. We snapped a few, quick, pictures and then made our way down the trail.

As usual, the Little Si trail bested me descending down to the rock wall past the bench (the actual bench, not a terrain-feature bench). The terrain constantly slopes to the right and the trail is quite faint, especially at night when the only relief from hail is pouring rain. By the fifth time that I led folks astray, I was removed from the front :)

We made it down safe, wet, and hungry.

My GPS decided to stop tracking halfway through, so no stats this time.

]]> (Matt Kurjanowicz) ESAR Hail Hike Little Si North Bend Rain SAR Trip Report Thu, 20 Mar 2014 21:25:32 GMT
Ancient Lakes - August 11, 2013 I was at the National Ski Patrol Pacific Northwest Division Convention in Spokane on Saturday.  Driving back to Seattle on Sunday, Matt and I decided to check out some of the beauty that Eastern Washington has to offer.  We stopped by the Ancient Lakes area near Quincy, WA to do some hiking and exploring.

The area certainly delivered.

Read on for some of the highlights, and check out the gallery at

One of the coolest things about this area is that the recent storms had left cool patterns in the mud.

Cool Mud Patterns The area was vast, and it was cool to see what was once a flooded out valley.  The following photo looks back toward the Columbia.  Imagine water rushing through here, scouring out the land.

Back the Way We Came

In addition to the open grassland, there was plenty of water.  The lakes were teeming with fish, the water was murky.  But heck, the water was warm, it was hot out, so we went for a swim.  Not a bad place to take a dip.

An Ancient Lake It's worth noting that we chose, carefully, which lake to swim in.  We didn't really want to wade through the muck to get to the water.  Even though we didn't swim in this one, this is one of my favorite photos of the day.

An Ancient Lake While the landscapes are pretty, I'd be remiss if I didn't include at least one person-photo.  So, here you go.

Ancient Lakes Trail

]]> (Matt Kurjanowicz) Eastern Washington Hike Trip Report Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:59:18 GMT