Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Cowlitz Gap & Rocks (winter)

A tale of two trips: morning was sandblasting style sideways snow, and afternoon was part sun and some views.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

The Longmire gate opened “right on time” at 9:10.  The drive to Paradise went easy enough.  Upon arriving and jumping out of the cars, the parking lot was super icy and the wind was definitely brisk.  We headed down the Paradise Valley Road to 4th Crossing, and then began the climb up to Mazama Ridge.  Upon reaching the ridge, it was snowing, often sideways, with lots of blowing snow and extremely poor visibility especially when we got up towards Sluiskin Falls, where the trees peter out.  Given the considerable avalanche forecast, the sideways snow, and the very poor visibility, we made the decision as a team to turn around.  But, because we had driven down to the Park, we elected to continue down Mazama Ridge, staying more in or near the trees.  Of course, by the time we got to Reflection Lakes, the sun was making an appearance.  IMG_1242.jpeg
We then had an enjoyable snowshoe around Inspiration Point, and back up to Paradise.  When we returned to Paradise, at maybe 3:45, there were only a handful of cars.  Apparently, the Longmire gate had moved from closing at 5 to closing at 4, without our knowledge.  Luckily, this did not turn out to be a problem.  We concluded our day with a tasty supper at the Copper Creek Inn.