Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoeing Field Trip - Grace Lakes

Basic snowshoe course field trip. Group of 6 instructors (3 equivalency candidates) and 4 students traveled to Grace Lakes on a snowy day, with breaking trail up and back. 3-4 inches new snow fall during the day, pretty steady 26 deg. temp, wind varied with exposure from calm to 12+ mph.

  • Snow and ice on road
  • Travel in the morning was through a storm front between Monroe, and Skykomish.   Several miles included driving rain, then hail, and then heavy snow resulting in compact snow, slush on the roadway.   Before Skykomish, conditions turned back to lighter rain, and clear wet roadway. 

    4 cars rendezvoused in Skykomish, do to travel concerns.   Consolidated to 3 cars for the leg to the pass.   Encountered snow again, compacted on the roadway by the Tunnel Creek turn, up to the pass.  Traffic was encountered, but overall kept a good pace, for safe arrival at the upper parking lot at Stevens. 

The upper lot at Stevens was already filling up when we arrived about 8:15 am.  

We departed the lot at 9:00 am and arrived back at 2:40 pm.   

GPS record showed 4.1 miles round trip, 1024 feet total ascent.   There was a good deal of instruction stoppage time, as we covered the course curriculum- enjoying the recent snowfall, travelling in areas with 10-12" fresh snow to road build in.   All enjoyed the snowy trip, and were well prepared with layers to adjust as needed for their personal comfort, and for when we stopped for lunch at 12:15, near the first lake on our route.   After lunch we traveled to the "lunch knoll" to check it out- and encountered steady wind with the exposure, and scoured areas.    The route down from there to the lake was a good capper, choosing a route that allowed enjoying plunge stepping down a nice, soft snowpack to sink in with each step. 

All participants showed good cheer, and patience with the stoppage time, and were always eager to get moving again in the fine snow, and terrain we traveled.