Sunday, January 25, 2009

Date Change: Feb 7th moved to Feb 8th

In order to make myself available to chaperone a ski trip to Mt. Baker for Mikayla's Confirmation class on Feb 7th, I'm postponing the hike/snowshoe outing until February 8th.

Depending on snow, weather and how sore I am from skiing, my current plan is to check out Kendall Peak Lakes on showshoes. This destination is at Snoqualmie Pass. My backup plan would be to do Heather Lake or Lake 22 along the Mountain Loop Highway.

More info to come as the date approaches.

Happy Trails!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Skyline Lake 01/17/09 (Steven's Pass)

With the lowlands shrouded in fog for the last few days I was excited to spend some time in the mountains, up above the ongoing inversion.

True to the forecast (how often does that happen?), we found cloudless blue skies at Steven's Pass all day long. Even more surprising is that this is the third time I've been here... and all three times have been picture perfect. :cool:

Rob and I met up in Monroe at the leisurely start time of 8:30am and enjoyed an uneventful ride up the mountain. Passed one slick section near a bridge and saw a disabled Chevy Colorado truck that didn't quite survive the short icy stretch.

Easily found parking (which we heard was a problem later in the day... word of warning to those of you looking to do a late-day ascent).

After only a few hundred feet of elevation gain we were above the thin fog that kept trying to blow through the pass. The continuing fog has given the tree tops a nice white dusting, but only the trees that are in the fog. It was a unique sight. You can see the white tree tops in the pic.

We took the direct route up the ridge while almost everyone else stuck to the road route. Circled around the lake and headed toward the lower peak. Found a quiet spot that was somewhat protected from the light winds to enjoy lunch and the scenery.

There seemed to be a pretty well established route up to the obvious peak, but we left that for the more adventurous visitors.

From our lunch spot we could gaze across to distant slopes with huge fracture lines from recent slides and also a slope which has clearly been pummelled by winds.

Met a few snowboarders who inquired about how to find the slopes they were looking for. We weren't sure but gave them a couple of suggestions and pointed to what we knew was where... and wished them a safe boarding experience.

The snow was well consolidated, but softened in the afternoon. Didn't seem very conducive to a good skiing or snowboarding ride, IMO.

On the descent, we took the short detour to the final communication tower and then headed toward the vehicle, with a couple nice butt glissades on the descent.

Returned to civilization (and fog) with a Starbucks run in Monroe, a quick touristy tour of Snohomish, a hair cut in Kirkland and then a social in Kirkland.

All in all... it was a fantastic day from start to finish.

Here is my report from 1/27/2007 if you are interested.



Friday, January 16, 2009

Updated Itinerary for 1-17-09

Meeting up with Rob in Monroe for a day of snowshoeing up toward Skyline Lake at Steven's Pass. Will likely take our time and enjoy the predicted warm weather.

As time allows, we may stop to scout out the route to Surprise Lake, which heads south from Hwy 2 from Scenic, just before the final highway stretch up to Steven's Pass. This route is described in Dan Nelson's Snowshoe Routes book, but I don't recall seeing any trip reports... so I'm curious what the deal is.

There's also a possibility that we'll stop by a few other well known areas along the Hwy 2 corridor: Deception Creek, Heybrook Lookout, Wallace Falls... all are possible at this point.

Fully expect to be back in the vehicle by dark and are hoping for some pleasant photo opps and a leisurely day in the mountains.

Happy Trails!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Next Outing: Sat 1/17/09

Heads up... the January outing date has been pushed back a week, so it's now scheduled for Saturday, January 17th.

Hopefully the additional week will provide an opportunity for the snowpack to settle and maybe the sunshine will find its way back to western Washington for this outing.

Anyone venturing out into the backcountry (or even out of their neighborhood) should be extra alert due to the extreme weather which is prompting monumental landslides and avalanches... even at the ski areas.

News Link, with pictures, of a massive landslide/avalanche combo at the Hyak Ski area at Snoqualmie Pass... today.

Be careful.

Let me know if you are available and interested in joining me on Saturday the 17th.

Also, did I rave about my book lately? Look for the link at the top part of the web page to order one or to see a preview of the first 15 pages.

Happy Trails!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I'm glad to be welcoming 2009... out with the old and in with the new.

It seems the previously scheduled Jan 10th outing is going to be postponed to the following Saturday (Jan. 17th). Hopefully the snowpack will settle a bit, alleviate the avalanche risk and allow for some sunny weather to show up. Plus, there were just too many conflicts with the 10th anyway. Please check your calendar.

My book finally arrived today.
What book? This book of course.

I was worried about what it would look like on paper because often pictures on-screen look completely different when printed. In this case, I'm proud to report that in my opinion, the book looks FANTASTIC! I'm pleased as punch.

Be sure that I'll show it off to anyone who is hanging around and feel free to order one of your own if you are so inclined.

Also, work is underway for the 2008 Hike Highlights video. Stay tuned...

Happy Trails & Happy New Year.