Thursday, March 29, 2012


Been pretty busy lately... away from the interwebs and living life. In this instance "Living Life" really means that I've been really busy at work, going to numerous gymnastic meets and trying to finish our taxes.

Things might slow down next week and hopefully I'll be able to catch up on some missing trip reports.

Pretty sure I owe you at least one report for a snowshoe to Wells Creek Road and probably a dumpster dive or two.

In other news, my email provided me with the latest edition of "The Rambler" -- a newsletter published by The Mount Baker Club. I was pleased to see a couple of my photos from our hike along the Hertz Trail... and a link to my blog!

Woo Hoo, and Welcome!

My next scheduled hike date is April 14th. Details are TBD... but I'm always looking to visit new destinations, complete unfinished previous hikes and meet new hiking buddies. Feel free to drop me a note/comment if you're ever interested in hitting the trail sometime.

Happy Hiking!


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Revised itinerary for 3-17-2012

The old plan has been superceded by a better plan.

After browsing through an old cross country ski route book I came across a route along Wells Creek Road which I've heard of before and had forgotten all about.

The book labels the avalanche risk for this route as: "No Avalanche Risk". That's my kind of risk level.

Since the real avalanche risk has been lowered to moderate (level 2) / considerable (level 3) instead of High (level 4) / Extreme (level 5) I'm feeling pretty comfortable that this will be a safe place to play for the day. Heck, it's probably more risky trying to park at the pullout alongside Hwy 542 than it is to venture into the snowy woods.

As always, the plan may still change but at least now I have a reason to head out there.

Happy Trails!


P.S.: Forgot to mention that, yes, I'll be wearing green.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Itinerary for 03-17-2012

Hey, guess what!

There is no definite plan for the hike on Saturday.

For the umteenth time in a row, the weather looks pretty ugly. Ugly enough that I haven't even bothered to invite anyone along to enjoy the day outside.

Reportedly there are mountains of new snow in the mountains. The avalanche forecast is being called the 'black eye' because of the unusually high potential for avalanches at this point in time:

The danger level is supposed to decrease quite a bit by Saturday, but it will still be more than I'd want to tackle without a rescue buddy.

I was contemplating joining up with the Mount Baker Club for one of two outings they had scheduled, but both have been cancelled.

My choices at this point include the following four potential targets:
a) Lookout Mountain: two low level peaks that I haven't investigated between I-5 & Lake Whatcom
b) Mount Si and/or Rattlesnake Ridge: a great workout on a hard-to-get-lost trail with generally safe quantities of snow and satisfying elevation gain.
c) Bald Mountain: still on the to do list, between Big Lake and Lake Cavanaugh
d) Cultus Mountain: also still on the to-do list but a guaranteed long slog and I don't know that I can get my bike up there with the new trail car.

Anyway, if you are reading this and interested in tagging along (or proposing a better destination) please let me know ASAP. Good hikes are even better with company.

As always, plans may change without notice.

Happy Hiking!


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Skyline Lake 02-11-2012

Just about a month ago, Steve and I connected in Monroe to enjoy a snowshoe trek to Skyline Lake.

Skyline Lake is a place I've been to relatively often, generally in nice weather because the route offers some fantastic views.

Located right across Hwy 2 from the Steven's Pass ski area, this route offers convenient (and free) parking all winter long - and there is a ski lodge just across the highwy in case you feel the need to lounge (or warm up) with the powder pigs. Or have lunch.

Our weather wasn't cooperating on this particular outing. We had a few brief views of the ski area, but no memorable views of blue sky or distant (or near) peaks. We had to entertain ourselves by taking pictures of falling snow and buried lakes.

The route to Skyline lake is relatively steep. We followed the jeep track to the small tower after the powerlines and then diverted uphill to the left - a shortcut up the switchbacking road. The hillside is steep (bring poles) and tiring.

Took a few pictures at the upper communication tower, marveling at the cap of snow on the peaked roof of the shed. We were discussing the liklihood (or unliklihood) that a snowball could topple the knob off the roof when Mother Nature stepped in and did it herself. No snowball needed.

We had lunch at the lake, then proceeded up to the ridge to the boulder garden - hoping for a break in the weather. No luck - no views. We could barely see the high point and decided to turn around after a few minutes.

On the way back we made a detour to another communication tower and another non-view.

The snowshoe trek back down was pretty fast - making great use of our built in sleds to quickly descend the powdery slopes to the lower portion of the road.

Ended the day with a warm beverage at Starbucks and an early dinner at Five Guys Burgers & Fries (it was good but it wasn't "more than $11 for a greasy burger and fries good").

Happy Hiking!

There is one more trip report in progress (Oyster Dome) and my next hike date is in less than one week (March 17th, St. Patricks Day).