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Trip Report    

Intermediate Snowshoe - Hurricane Hill (winter)

Epic snowshoe ramble to the roof of the Olympics

  • Snow and ice on road
  • We kept to the ridgeline, climbing up and over several "bumps" to avoid southwest-facing avvy slopes the summer trail crosses.  Final slope to the summit is exposed to wind. Stay well to the left of the rock cliffs you see in front of you.

Cold, cloudy morning turned to sunny (but cold) glorious afternoon.  Temperature was around 19 degrees the whole day, but didn't feel that bad in the afternoon when the sun came out.  We sped down the summer road, then out the ridge along the trail route, going up and over several bumps to avoid the southwest-facing avvy slopes the summer trail crosses.  The route was fairly easy to follow as quite a few snowshoers and skiers have been up since the last snow.  Just below the summit the sun began to peek through the clouds. Atop the summit a clump of trees was completely encased in snow on all sides rendering strange white figures caught in mid-snow dance.  On the way down the sun came out and as we reversed our route it cleared up more so that we could see down the Elwha, over to Mt. Angeles and up the Lillian river valley.  Clouds were visible lower down to the north and in the Elwha tributaries. By the time we got back to the parking lot at 1530 it was almost completely clear and Olympus was visible.  Very little wind today, which was good as it was pretty cold without it. Some cornicing along the ridge but if you stay to the ridgeline and thread your way through the trees it is safe.  Did find some SH and faceted crystals in a shady spot.  Where sun was reaching the snow it was MR and PP. About 15-20cm of unconsolidated snow in most places.  A few isolated patches of wind slab.  We watched as several backcountry skiers put the first tracks on the south slope of HH.  Lots of snow and a glorious start to the snowshoe season.