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Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Mount Washington (Snoqualmie)

Excellent day in the mountains

  • Snow and ice on road
  • Parking Lot: There were about 4 to 6 inches of fresh snow in the parking lot. Most of us ended up parking on the paved road rather than drive up the parking lot to the trailhead parking lot - doesn't add too much distance. Of note, the PSE comes and plows their access road - so do not park in front of the gate. We almost did, but fortunately the plows came while we were still getting ready and asked us to move. This means the road is plowed periodically after snow. It was still icy and slippery after being plowed.

    Trail: snow the entire way - with some open areas of running water. Most of it compact but not icy. Deep enough to warrant snowshoes at about 3200'. Some blowdowns and branches on trail but nothing difficult to navigate.

Due to poor driving conditions at the pass, we moved a planned trip to Mount Margaret here. The weather called for high winds (20+ mph) and possible freezing rain. Fortunately, this route goes between Washington and Change and is therefore shielded from most of the wind (until the summit). Also, we had at most 30 minutes of light rain and even had some views at the summit. Overall, it ended up being a great day. There isn't much technical about the route, so it's a stretch to call it a scramble.  The route is generally in the trees, so there isn't much avalanche concern save for two spots that are not in the trees. The first is at relatively low elevation, so there shouldn't be much snow and cause for concern. The second is a bit higher but is also a very treeless slope. There were some rollerballs noted (wet loose was one the problems of the day), but conditions seemed very stable.