This year I only was able to attend two snowshoe’s with the Mountaineers. A change in my living circumstances, putting me on Whidbey Island, has made it harder to attend these outings. But the two trips I was able to make this year was well worth it.
The first was a hike about 4/5’s of the way to Lake Annette. The group turned back at a risky avalanche chute. Of course as is the way with these things while we were discussing the risk you see a number of people just charge right through. But the Mountaineers have a sound safety record and this has come from a policy of not continue on if anyone feels there is a risk. It is good not to be overly destination focused as well. It was a nice hike in the woods with some sweet snow peaks visible through the trees and that makes for a great trip.
Check out all my photos from this trip: Lake Annette Snowshoe
The second and final trip of 2019 was up Mount Gardner. Late in the season, the snowlike was up further than expected and it was wet heavy snow until we had ascended several thousand feet. One of the great things about snowshoeing is that you aren’t as trail bound as you are in hiking, so you can easily cut switchbacks and such. But with the low and poor snow we did less of that than the trip leader had anticipated. Thus it ended up being a long trip, 13 miles or so taking up most of the day. It was a scramble to the summit of Mount Gardner but the views were spectacular. A 360 degree panorama into the Central Cascades.
This trip had it all: sun, rain, snow, rock scrambles, bushwhacking, trudging up roads, deep snow and great views. At the end the trip leader asked me if it was a little over the top. Maybe so, but for the last trip of the season, not so bad.
See all my photos from this trip here: Mount Gardner Snowshoe