Sunday, December 10, 2017

Skyline Loop Snowshow on Mt Rainier

Another beautiful day took me back to Paradise, this time to hike the Skyline Loop Trail on Mt Rainier. We were hoping to take the High Skyline Loop Trail (marked in green), but did not find a way down from 7,000 ft that we felt comfortable with. So we headed back down to Panorama Point and took what is the "low" trail (marked in pink). We hiked/snowshoed about 4.5 miles with an overall 1,800 ft of gain.

 There is not a lot of snow at Paradise, we could still see the trail sign in the snow.

We found the tracks going up to Panorama Point and beyond towards Camp Muir very well packed down so we carried our snowshoes and wore microspikes for this section.
Before reaching Panorama Point, we could see Mt Adams and Mt St Helens behind the Tatoosh Range.
 Looking ahead to the line of people heading toward Panorama Point.
 It was very warm on the snow today!
 I love looking at Mt Rainier, especially in the winter with lots of snow coverage.
Part way up Panorama Point. The east side was icy, we kick stepped up this side.
 There were patches of bare dirt and rock up at Panorama Point. We could see as far south as Mt Hood (between Adams and St Helens)

 We also saw the Goat Rocks to the southeast
 We continued up above Panorama Point, following where the "High" trail should be at 7,000 ft.
 Took our time enjoying all the views,

 before deciding we would return down to Panorama Point.

 We decided to glissade down the soft snow on the west side of Panorama Point to continue on the Skyline Loop.
The avalanche risk was low today, and there was not much snow on the slopes, so we felt safe with this option today.

Looking back up Panorama Point along the glissade path.
 On this side the snow was less packed down, fewer people. We needed to wear our snowshoes to avoid post holing.

 Beautiful section of the route above Paradise.

 We were easily able to see the stream and bridge crossing with the little snow on the trail here.

 The route took us to Mazama Ridge and down to Fourth Crossing
We saw a friend across the creek on the side of Mazama Ridge, so we crossed over this log bridge to go say hi and continue down to the road.
Fun day!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Mazama Ridge Snowshoe

Beautiful sunny day, we decided to snowshoe up to Mazama Ridge from Paradise at Mt Rainier National Park. Our route today was 4 miles round trip with an overall elevation gain of 1,050 ft.
There were nice tracks to follow along the Paradise Valley Road
 View of Mt Rainier as we ascended Mazama Ridge

We continued snowshoeing part way up the Paradise Glacier Trail
Pano: Mt Adams and Mt St Helens peeking over the Tatoosh Range
We found a nice hill to sit on, eat our lunch and enjoy the views
Looking towards Mt Rainier, Little Tahoma and Cowlitz Rocks
 Looking over Stevens Canyon, Mt Adams, Hood & St Helens behind the Tatoosh Range

another view of Rainier with some lovely snow waves

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gold Creek Pond

The road to the parking area by Gold Creek Pond was still open, so we drove over for a short 1 mile walk around the pond.
There were clouds hiding the nearby peaks.
A little bit of ice was near the shore at the picnic area.
There was some packed down snow on the trail along with some bare spots revealing the asphalt path. Snowshoes were not needed. I used my micro spikes as I was carrying my granddaughter.

Views from the other side of Gold Creek Pond

 beaver dam
 Fun to be out together!
Beautiful how the afternoon sun lit up a small section of the trees making them appear golden.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Annette Lake

 Drove up I-90 before Snoqualmie Pass to hike up to Annette Lake at 3,600 ft. The hike is 7.5 miles round trip with 1,800 ft overall gain. The avalanche risk for below tree level was low today, so we felt comfortable doing this hike. On the upper trail, the snow was well packed down and we did not need our snowshoes.

0.2 miles from the trailhead, a bridge crosses Humpback Creek, there was lots of water flowing today.

 Most of the trail is in the woods.
 We had some peek a boo views of nearby peaks.
 More snow as the trail gained elevation.
Many creeks along the trail.

Nice views of Humpback Mountain while we crossed the talus fields/avalanche chutes.

From here the trail is fairly flat to the lake.

 First view of Annette Lake
 We found several different spots along the shore to enjoy Annette Lake.

 Lovely blue skies as we hiked back down the trail.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Reflection Lakes Snowshoe

 The weather forecast was for cloudy and snowing, so we opted to snowshoe to Reflection Lakes from the Narada Falls parking area in Mt Rainier National Park. A 3+ mile round trip with about 300 ft of gain.
There were blue skies and a view of Mt Rainier while we were waiting for the gate to open at Longmire.
 View of the Paradise River as we crossed the bridge to the trailhead.
 The trail markers have not yet been set up, but we could see where previous snowshoers had gone before the last snowfall.

 For awhile, the trail follows along the Paradise River.

a winter wonderland

As the avalanche risk below tree level was low today, we choose to follow the closed Stevens Canyon Road via Inspiration Point to Relection Lakes. The Tatoosh Range was clear.

 There were lots of icicles.

Watched the clouds roll in over the Tatoosh.
 Cloudy at Reflection Lakes

 Mt Rainier was hiding behind the clouds. Occasionally, we could see the top peeking out.
 On the snowshoe back, we had some glimpses of the lower flanks of Mt Rainier.
 We saw some blue sky beyond Eagle Peak.
 Back at the beginning of the trail, we then hiked down to view Narada Falls.
 On the drive out, we stopped to view Upper Christine Falls

and Lower Christine Falls