On November 15-18  an immense volume of snow fell from the sky bringing an end to the wet mountain conditions and kicking off snow sport season! Last week marked the opening of pretty much every major ski resort in Washington state to the delight of ski and snowboard bums of the Northwest. However, Eric and I steer clear of the slopes until late December and January. Early season snow does not over up all the debris on the slopes and we’d rather not take the chance of messing up our gear. Instead we look toward other outdoor ventures.

Bluebird skies were forecasted all weekend so today we decided to drive up Route 2 and take our first snowshoe trek of the season in the newly fallen snow. Our chosen trail was Tonga Ridge near Skykomish. Eruic and I were reminded that snowshoe ventures never happen exactly as planned due to unforeseen road conditions. It just doesn’t matter how many trip reports you look at. Halfway up FS 6030 the pile of snow between the bare pavement tire tracks became so high that it scraped the bottom of my SUV. We tired to continue on hoping it was just a small section of road, but it got worse. We made a dicey U turn in a wide section of road and parked in a pullout a bit further down. According to the directions, we were supposed to drive 3.3 miles to road 310, but we were at mile 4 where we parked. Obviously directions are either incorrect or my car mileage is wrong.

We walked in the hard packed tire tracks admiring gorgeous icicle formations on the roadside for what must have been at least 1.5 miles before we got to road 310. Then it was another 1.5 walk to the trail head. As it turned out we did not need the snowshoes for the trail. It was packed pretty well. We walked the ridge until 12:00pm and then cut off the trail and had lunch at on the edge of the ridge admiring the mountain views. Eric and I turned back after that not wanting to get to drive back on the FS road in the evening. It gets dark so early now.

So our day of snowshoeing ended up being mostly a road walk… and did not involve the snowshoes on our feet; just on our packs. But it was a gorgeous day to be out in the mountains.

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