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Kendall: Knobs, Lakes & Loops

Seattle Branch Intermediate Snowshoe to Kendall Peak Lakes, March 19. We were among the first cars at the trailhead at 8:30 AM. The snow was cold and crusty on the way up. A couple of us wore boots until we veered off the road after the third full switchback. The climb up through the trees went nicely, especially with the snow that offered good grip. The group took turns breaking trail, and we took a number of map-checking stops for navigation practice.

We reached the small lake about 3:50 after we started, including a couple leisurely photo stops along the way. The weather and visibility was phenomenal.

We enjoyed a warm sunny lunch. A few participants went to look for the second lake, which others basked in the sun.

We opted to take the road most of the way down to avoid snow bombs and minimize knee troubles. By then, the solar radiation was warming up the snow rapidly. As soon as we hit the road about a 1/2 mile from our lunch spot, we saw several pinwheels had been coming down - some old, some new, some as large as tires. We hurried quickly around the first couple switchbacks on the road. We reached a large unprotected slope about another 3/4 mile down, which we had missed on the way up (because we were off-road and in the trees). We actively saw large pinwheels coming down, so we spread out for that section. The group passed that section without incident. The rest of the trip down was largely protected. We decided to cut the first long switchback through the trees, and was at the cars in 1:50 (two hours quicker than on the way up). It was great group to travel with.

Trip stats: 8 mi, 1,900 ft, 6.5 hrs.

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    47.398757, -121.393634
    47.3987569743 -121.39363371
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    47.432635, -121.379342
    47.4326351475 -121.379341781

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