I was surprised on Wed. when the skies were blue, and the forecast improved overnight. We had actual sunshine initially though the temp was 30 with cool winds as we hiked up the Squilchuck Trail from the Mission Ridge parking lot with gaiters and microspikes on. The trail to the Lake was compact snow and ice with maybe 1- 2" of recent snow. After arriving to a windy and cold Lake Clara we donned snowshoes and passed along it's South and headed over to Marion which had open water running through it in places, then worked our way up the undulating and irregular basalt piles to a 6000' highpoint just West of the main ski resort. I was glad we were making heat with the wind gusting and forming small whirlwinds of dry snow. The amount of snow was highly variable with exposed basalt talus to 2 -3' of snow at our elevation, it's obviously been a low snow year to this point, for this area. Once we picked a slightly sheltered spot for lunch and coffee the clouds moved in from the South and I had all my layers on. No sun = very cold. When the coffee is gone you cool down quick and we were quickly on our way back down stopping once again to hike around Lake Marion and back to the Squilchuck Trail. Despite the changing weather a good day to get out as always. 5 miles, 2000' r/t.
Around Lake Clara.
Squilchuck Peak (center) beyond Mission Ski Area.
Five layers and a quick coffee / lunch.
Steve descending the highly variable snow covered basalt terrain.
It was completely overcast and mid 20's when we got back to Steve's truck. Mission can be a brutal environment at times but a brief respite from freezing fog, ice, and snow in town. The 3 seasons of Wenatchee...
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