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Trip Report    

Florence Peak

Turned around due to high snow load in tree tops

  • Tue, Mar 2, 2021
  • Florence Peak
  • Scrambling
  • Turned Around
  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Parking at road end due to the Spring  2020  wash out just before parking area, 2 Sani cans at road end. New gravel next to road edge to widen foot path into the Park. Many large trees down with root balls. Most at road level. Start of trail at old nature trail board walk, has lots of damage 1 of the 6 or so trees has been cut out. I have felt for a # of years unless something is done to repair this board walk it will require a bush whack to get to the beginning of the trail headed to Alki Crest.  

Good snow coverage started at 3000 ft. Good penetration in firm snow no traction used.  Put snow shoes on at  3200'  Boots may take you to 4k ft 

I  usually carry a helmet in winter often joking it keeps my lunch from being crushed and it never leaves my pack.  Upon arrival at Alki Crest as I started working my way towards Florence Peak, in a 5 - 10 knot breeze  as the Sun started to come out I noticed a nearby  crash of snow and branches, large and close enough my arms went over my head. I went just a bit further, as I studied the trees the lower branches where snow free. Way, way up in the very tall trees  the tippy tops where  incased in hundreds of pounds of snow. Wrong place, wrong time I made a speedy retreat off the crest, wishing  I had my helmet. 

 The large open boulder field has  enough snow coverage to allow an alternative path from the trail. The Boulders are large so use caution to avoid potential voids. I have seen these conditions here twice in last 8 years. Followed the edge of the boulder field, then down thru the steep woods on a Northerly course to rejoin the trail at 3600 ft.