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A Snowy Halloween Hike

Kirk had given me a day to go kid free and get outside but with our early winter weather I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to bite off. Yet I wanted to enjoy the snow before it melted today, as tehre is a warm tropical storm blowing through. Oddly enough we actually had quite nice weather with only a few minutes of rain/snow dropping. We even had plenty of blue skies. Warm, no. Chilly, yes!

My friend Jared was free (or at least looking forward to goofing off and studying for his classes….) so we headed up to Snoqualmie Pass for an easy hike to Snow Lake.

I have often wondered how many people on this extremely popular summer hike turn around after the stairs at the start? The stairs are a huge turn off I am sure.

Periodically the sun would come out and blind us:

With the snow this past week the streamlets and creeks were all running nicely. The lower cliffs that line the first part of the trail all had waterfalls streaming down them:

As we headed up we encountered snow pretty early on:

The views on the hike never quit amazing – one solid reason this hike is so popular. Jared loitering in a winter avy slope with the peaks behind him and Slide Alder lining the trail:

There are 2 small creeks to pass on the trail. I elected to take the ‘walk through’ method versus rock hopping. The waterproof of my new boots I picked up last week held along with some less than fashionable old school OR Verglas gaiters. (More to come later on the boots) I was glad to have the gaiters as I had the waterfall pounding against my leg as I went through.

Eventually we entered the snow permanently:

I have taken up in the past year of wearing a High UV Pro Buff to stop sun damage to my hair and scalp. It has worked well, I have it on first, then I put a visor on over it. In the cold it also keeps my head warmer without having to wear a heavy fleece or wool hat all the time.

Looking up at the peaks lining the trail:

I got tired of slogging through wet snow a couple hundred feet of gain below the pass so Jared shot ahead and took my camera with him (his battery had died on his) and shot some photos of Snow Lake below:

The lake is nicely snowed in and there was at least 1 1/2 feet of snow at the pass. Looking across at the peaks as we were heading back down:

We went down to the junction for Source Lake and since Jared had never been there we walked out there (it is a very easy side trail if you are already out there!)

Source Lake sits maybe 100 feet below the trail but getting there isn’t easy any time of the year as it sits below a messy avy slope often littered but as well full of Alder. It isn’t big either, though it is the headwaters of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River.

In summer if one knows the way they can continue here and take the old trail towards Snow Lake. It is there. You can even see it on Google Maps in Sat view (which has been very useful when looking at abandoned trails for ideas if they are above tree line).

After wandering back there and getting into a nice foot or so of snow we called it a day and started the hike out. Jared crossing a waterfall:

It was a nice day out before the trick or treaters came out at home – so I knew I had to get back home to hand out candy (it is a huge deal where we live!).

~Sarah

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