Trip Report    

Day Hike - Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)

Fabulous spring-like day!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail started with spotty, icy snow and quickly became almost all snow with a good boot-packed trail.  Some bare rocky stretches on the lower section with a small amount of running water.  Off to either side of the packed trail, snow was very soft and knee-deep. It got deeper as we ascended with a couple more short rocky, wet parts. The trail continued to be well-packed, but it slowed us down quite a bit because a step off a little to either side, or not on a previous step, caused us to post-hole above the knees.  The trail was too narrow and deep for snow shoes.  On the upper traverses, we kept close to the up-hill side of the track to avoid a punch through and potential slip down through the trees.  About less than a mile from the summit, the path took us on a very steep straight-up shortcut for about 50 feet to continue on the main trail.  Here we followed large bucket steps with the occasional post-hole. Snow on the summit was at least 5 feet deep. One person in my party took a step next a small tree sticking up from the snow and sunk in up to his waist, and still was not standing on dirt; he got out easily.

Beautiful, sunny day.  Around freezing in the morning, gradually warmed up to mid-forties by the time we summited.  Snow sculpted trees, pure white snow, nice views, no wind at all!  Met a few parties on the way up as we headed down, a great uncrowded alternative to Mt. Si and more interesting.  We used trekking poles, and carried but did not use snowshoes.  Wore micro-spikes from the trailhead and kept them on round-trip, although they began to ball up by the time we reached the top and on the upper slopes during the descent.  Logged 8.5 miles, 3300' gain.  Up in 3.5 hours, down in 2.  Two or three short breaks on the way up and 45 minutes on the summit.  Excellent trip with unexpected snow challenges and a wonderful group of Mountaineers!