Well... I was right. There was less than a foot of snow on our hike. In fact, there was absolutely NO snow at Snoqualmie Pass. Good thing I left the snowshoes, avalanche transceiver, shovel and probe at home as they would have just been extra weight.
Click here for the official Snow Lake Trail description.
This trail is very popular in the summer, frequently having 800 visitors on the weekends. In the winter, however, the avalanche prone slopes keep most people away from this area. Without snow, we shared the trail with a few people, but they were few and far between.
The weather was fantastic!
I left home about 6:40am and enjoyed watching the colors of dawn grow over the cascades as I cruised south toward Lynnwood to pick up Steve at 7:30am.
Dawn and Mt. Pilchuck (from the car):
Dawn and Mount Rainier (from the car):
Here are a few of the views you may get to enjoy from this trail on a sunny day:
Tree and reflection in distant lake:
Early view of Snow Lake, from the ridge
The trail was snow-free, but did have sections of solid ice, due to snow melt and recent rains and runoff combined with cold weather. Once over the ridge to descend toward the lake the amount of ice increases drastically. We put on extra traction devices for safety and they worked great! I like Stabilicers and Steve likes Yak Trax.
Waterfall and Ice
Structure Remains (not sure what this was - possibly a ranger station or private cabin?)
View across Snow Lake
Frozen Tarn, with sun
Grey Jay on my Hiking Pole:
Southern View of Alpental and valley
Pika above Source Lake
Another view of Snow Lake
Tibetan Prayer Flags:
Cousin of Loch Ness Monster? No, just a floating log I guess.
Glinda, the good witch, tries to interrupt a photo opportunity.
Here is a short video (90 seconds) of some clips I shot during this trip... just experimenting with various settings.
Thanks for reading my trip report. A similar version is available here at nwhikers.net.
Next outing is scheduled for Saturday, January 10th, 2009... more than a month away.