Sunday, January 15, 2012

Winter Storm 2012, aka "The Big Dump"

 Living in Seattle usually means enjoying a moderate climate year-round, but each year the snow makes a foray from its regular playgrounds of the mountains to the city environs of Seattle and its suburbs. With the forecasters playing up one such "Snowpocalypse", a group of 10 Mountaineers headed up to the Cascades to explore by snowshoe.
grabbing for gear, heads down

What started out being a light snowfall and reasonable temperature (30F), became a sideways-snow-blowing frigid torment at higher elevations. Hat and hair covered in frost and ice, eyeglasses crusted with ice, stinging eyeballs from blowing snow – hey, that sounds like a Mountaineers trip! By the time we made our destination, at a knoll above Kendall Peak Lakes just off the Pacific Crest Trail, my camera was seeking shelter somewhere in my pack so you'll have to take my word that we were successful.

PCT crosses this creek twice
On the descent, at the thought of traversing below a frozen waterfall and cliff that held lots of fresh snow on top of a hard crust, we retreated to the basin floor, walking among puffs of snow, along Commonwealth Basin.

The following day, after drying out all my gear, I woke to fresh snow in the city. After breakfast, I put my snow pants on and headed out with my SLR camera in its waterproof pouch. On the way, I witnessed several cars sliding up and down a particularly steep section of road and, upon seeing the "Do Not Enter" DOT sign tethered to a light post, freed it and placed it at the bottom of the hill. Good deed done, I made my way to Green Lake, where many people had already made tracks in the snow, running or walking the loop encircling the lake.

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