Friday, March 29, 2013

The North Cascades on X-Country Skis

There was a forty-percent chance of rain yesterday, and the Mountain Loop Road is well on the watery side of those stats.  But John is home from college for the week, we'd never been there in the winter (is this still winter?) and we had to try. 
The plowed part of the road ended three miles to the west. We skiied up the road without knowing exactly where we were, and found ourselves at the picnic area by the little trail leading to the Ice Caves.  These caves are quite a sight in summer, barely 2000 feet above sea level, formed by avalanches sliding into a land of shadows off of Big Four Mountain.  



That's John, and Jake, and that's Big Four Mountain, down which the avalanches feed into
the ice caves.  You can see the trees have been snapped off where we're standing in
the past.  Not a good idea to get any closer, in late March, with 200 inches of
snow pack at the top of that mountain. 
Back across Snoqualmie River to our home.  In a week, these trees should all be a soft green.

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