photos · Trip Reports

A Sunny Sunday In Paradise

Western Washington is having a weather inversion – which has been “interesting” to say the least. Lets see……last month: snow, snow, snow, freezing temps, Pineapple Express that melted tons of snow and tons of rain, flooding and now the weather inversion that produces a smog like freezing fog at lower altitude. It has been below freezing for the past 4 or so days at our house.

Yesterday I met up with my friends Catzia, Ldyblade and Rumidude for a casual walk on the nearby Preston-Snoqualmie Trail (a rail to trail). We walked in freezing temps and never saw the blue sky…..



This morning it was 28* and pea soup fog (did I mention that freezing fog?). Ah, but there is a reason to get up…..once above 1,000 ft it was blue skies. Twofourtyjeff and I headed up. By the time we reached Paradise at Mt. Rainier we got out of the car to the upper 50’s. Not a cloud in the sky.

The Tatoosh Ridge was barely visible due to the intense sun (ow! The burning orb! 😉 )


We headed up towards Panorama Point:


Looking back down, Alta is in front of us, a small bump.


Looking back at the Tatoosh. Mt. Adams is on the far left, Mt. St. Helens is on the far right in the distance.


The wind was pretty good though – but never cold. Jeff continued on up to Panorama Point. I had been up there a couple times, but I could feel the sun baking me good so I headed down and waited for him. As I turned back I was coming up to an area that is narrow with a track just wide enough for your snowshoes. I noticed my back binding was loose, so I bent over to fix it. I bent over too far and one of my lousy brand new water bottles took a plunge for freedom. I heard it pop out of the mesh pocket, turned and it was rocketing down a ravine. Within a couple blinks it was gone. I thought for a couple seconds on whether to go down and find it. And thought… life is worth more than $26 (said water bottle also contained my new Guyout Designs TapGuard……).

In June I’ll see if I can find it, when the snow starts to melt. Doh’ though! 🙁



The weather was so incredible. I don’t think I can remember snowshoeing in January in summer clothing before……

When Jeff met back with me, we packed up and headed downhill. We stopped at what is my favorite repast outside of the Nisqually entrance of Rainier – Copper Creek Inn. Both Jeff and I swapped out the french fries for the garlic potatoes with our sammies…..little red poatoes cubed and pan fried in a vat o’ garlic. Those things could kill a vampire but oh…..they are beyond heaven.

This has been a very hard past couple months for the small towns outside of Rainier. The flooding, the snow, the park being closed twice this fall/winter and the economy…..if you are local, go to the Mountain & patronize the local business’s there on the way home. I can say this – a day at Rainier with lunch is a bargain – especially when you go home reeking of garlic 😀 .