Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - 5,050 Pass, Point 5345 from Dosewallips

A great conditioner, yet difficult snow and road conditions resulted in our turning around at 4000’. The 5050 trail sign post (no sign present) was obscured by a leaning tree making it easy to miss.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Parked ~100’ west of the plowed school bus turnaround, with our cars filling one side of the road yet still allowing other vehicles to pass (some wisely turned around in the bus turn around, then backed into their parking spot).  This spot is ~2 miles east of the 5050 trail.  Throughout the day we used a mixture of micro-spikes, snowshoes, and boots.  Quite perturbing snow conditionings on the 5050 trail owing to varying conditions.  Up high on the steeper sections of trail we would have hard snow with no depressions left by the snowshoes (and our only traction from tracks/claws to prevent a slide) alternating with sections having a crust that would break through 18” to soft snow beneath (uggghh).

Forewarned by another trip report, we consolidated riders into fewer cars at the Highway 101/Dosewallips River Road intersection before proceeding to the parking area.  A variety of issues gradually ate into our scarce daylight hours (the car consolidation, parking complexity, icy/snow covered road walk, obscured trail, variable snow conditions/gear changes, snowshoe binding problems).  We turned around at 1:30pm (at ~4000’) to ensure adequate reserves to negotiate the steep/icy spots on descent without a slip.

Our itinerary was 8:30am at the Highway 101 turnoff, ~9am at the parking spot, ~10am at trailhead, ~1:30pm turnaround, 3:30pm back walking on the road, and 4:30pm back at the cars (just at sunset).  A great workout with the turnaround made more palatable by our great views of the inside of clouds…