a long snow drought to start the year we finally had a big dump at the
start of March. Over 4 feet at Snoqualmie Pass. I only had part of a
day so I did another close in trip. A report from two days earlier
showed snow in the parking lot and all the way up the RMT to Grand
Prospect. I pulled into the parking lot at 9:20 to find only four other
cars. A little snow but the lot was nearly bare. I crossed the road
immediately and thin snow covered the route. It was not icy but still a
little slick. Too thin for traction devices. I carried snowshoes as the
earlier report mentioned several feet of soft snow near the top.
There were a few completely bare spots in forest and then back on snow
again. The big tree down across the trail at the next road crossing was
cut out. There are no logs to cross all the way to Grand Prospect. As
the snow became thicker a small trench appeared. It was slick but easy
walking. When I reached the old road that heads over to Stan's Overlook
I met two folks. They were about to head down. They were the only
people I saw all the way up.
In the clear cut just above there some fresh snow covered the trail. I
could see no new footprints. Where were the folks from the other cars.
I never did find out. It was clear I was the first person up this far
this day. The old tracks made following the trail a breeze. I have seen
much deeper snow on top but this may have been the most snow I have
seen at lower elevations on the trail. When I dropped down to cross the
only bridge it was completely covered by snow. In the open clear cuts
lower down it was so cloudy I could not see much at all. Now I was in
dark old forest. It looked like views were not going to happen.
The trail wound around and finally came out on the old road. Once out
of forest the snow depth doubled. It was now knee deep. I finally put
on gaiters and kept going. The trench was hard and icy. It was too
narrow for snowshoes so I just kept on booting it. Most steps held but
occasionally I would post hole knee deep. It was even slower going now.
Back in forest the snow was less deep then back in the open it was even
Slow and steady wins the race and I was slow and steady. At the
viewpoint for a summit tower I could see nothing. The clouds were even
thicker now. A little more slogging and I popped out at Grand Prospect.
It was 12:02 pm. A time of 2:33 was my slowest ever. The benches were
buried under snow. The metal map had one corner showing but the rest
was buried. Call it about 2 1/2 - 3 feet of snow. Looking out I could
see nothing. No Mt. Si, no North Bend, and no I-90. Back in 2008 we had
a lot of lower elevation snow. Suzanne and I went up to the summit
towers and found that the chain link fence was completely buried. Only
a little of the barbed wire was snowing. I went back in the summer and
figured there had been about 8 feet of snow. I was interested in just
how much was there after our recent big dump.
In days gone by the RMT did not go on to the East Peak. an old road
went straight up to the summit towers from Grand Prospect. It was
closed off and is very brushy in the summer. Only when there is a lot
of snow can one fairly easily climb \up to the towers. I put on
snowshoes and headed higher. The brush was all covered but a few trees
are down and more are bent over with snow load. It was more of a pain
than I was expecting. My watch showed it was only a 110' climb. I
popped out of the forest at the first tower.
The snow was just about half way up the fence. About 4 feet was above
the snow so I calculate the depth at about 3 1/2 - 4 feet. Without
snowshoes I think I would have been sinking in crotch deep. The top of
the towers were going in and out of sight in the clouds. I had a quick
lunch and headed down. No new footprints while I was on top. I dropped
down to a viewpoint and met two hikers. They were having a good time
though they were ready to turn around. The Cascade front peaks came
into view periodically though not for long. I passed one more hiker
above Stan's Overlook. I took the short trip over to Stan's and found
some views at last.
Mt. Si was mostly in the open. It was not completely clear but much
better than at any point earlier in the day. The last mile down I met
three more groups. That was it. Very few people ventured out on this
trail while I saw cars all along the road when passing High Point and
Tiger Mountain in the morning. An extra 10 minutes of driving provided
a whole lot more solitude. The hike down was a lot faster. I was back
on the road before 3:00 pm. I hike this trail several times each year.
It seems much more remote when buried under several feet of snow. Like
a deep in the mountains experience only 30 miles from my house. The
snow provided some different photos too. It turned out to be a fun day
in the mountains.
Click on thumbnails to get
A Little Snow Down Low
Deeper At The Crossing
Snow On Bridge
Deep Out Of Forest
Heading Back To Forest
Grand Prospect View?
Sign Half Buried
Snow 4 Feet Deep
Narrow With Deep Snow
Low Clouds Gone
Mt. Si In Clouds
Mt. Si Close Up