The plan was to meet Carl, Ken and Mark on the Mt. Washington trail. I am a slower hiker than these super-fit gents so I got an early start and met them on the trail. I stopped at “the pond” and waited only a few minutes and there they were.
I almost kept in touch with them the rest of the way but then we got to a section where the snow was so deep that the normal trail was obliterated so hikers/snow shoers before us just went straight up the mountain. In the Google Earth image below, the red is the actual trail, from an older track, and blue is the route we took yesterday.
Looks benign on the 2-dimensional image, but I can tell you it was straight up. When we were descending we didn’t fool around, we just slid straight down:
I love this hike. It is not known as particularly scenic but it does have its moments, particularly on the summit.
Plus, there is a rocky wall with enormous icicles:
As for the trail, the snow was consolidated enough that we made it easily with only traction on the boots.
It was a beautiful, sunny day but a bit cold for Camden. The temp was somewhere in the teens with a brisk wind when we got up to the Iron Horse/John Wayne Trail.
We parked on the street outside the Exit 38 parking lot and, after gearing up with snowshoes, and Camden’s backpack (Cam is the cargo) we walked up the service road that parallels the parking lot.
Derek took his snowshoes off right away. The snow was packed down pretty well, nothing new and fluffy, but JIll and I kept ours on because we didn’t want to carry them. I had not brought along the gear I use to strap snow shoes to my backpack.
Anyway, we did just fine up to the IHT, and we even walked a little ways west to check out the Mt. Washington trail head (where I am going on Saturday). The problem started not long after we started heading east.
I snapped the picture above at just about the moment we decided to turn around and go back to the car. When we got hit by the wind poor Camden got really cold, and told us in the only language he has that he was not happy.
So we turned around and our snow shoe event was pretty short. But still a fun outing and afterwards Derek bought us breakfast at a cafe in North Bend that was used in the TV series “Twin Peaks” (I had coffee but no pie).
We did a fun hike/snowshoe outing today. We parked about 1.5 miles past Exit 38, where a service road intersects SE Homestead Valley Road and hiked up the service road.
In the summer you can take this road up to a spot where it intersects the McClellan Butte trail and start that hike from the road. It cuts about 3 miles from that hike. But you really need a Jeep or high-clearance truck to make it up the road in wintry conditions so we just hiked.
The whole gang turned out and the round trip for Jan, Jill and Fin was about 4.5 miles. Great job in the snow for folks who rarely get out.
Derek and Cam and I went a bit further west on the Iron Horse Trail, to the vicinity of the Mine Creek Bridge.
What a beautiful day and a great ending to my little Boeing break. Tomorrow it is back to work.