Forum Index > Trip Reports > PCT northbound Stevens Pass conditions update 3/15/20
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Nancyann
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Joined: 28 Jul 2013
Posts: 1694 | TRs
Location: Sultan Basin
Nancyann
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PostMon Mar 16, 2020 1:13 pm 
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For anyone with PCT thru hiker fever (a possible antidote to Corona virus) who may be considering beginning their trip at the Canadian border in a couple of months, there is a LOT of snow, at least in the Stevens Pass area. We made it less than two miles up the trail before running into questionable avy terrain. Despite the shortness of the walk, it was a stellar day to be out enjoying the sun, blue skies and fresh powder.
I brought snowshoes and started the trip wearing Microspikes, which were fine on the shady sections of trail, but ice balls formed while on the softer, sunny parts, so I took them off.
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20

We encountered just a handful of backcountry skiers using the trail to access some slopes; thankfully most folks parked in the Stevens north lot went somewhere else. There was a light breeze when we began our walk, which one skier we talked to said created a wind chill factor of about 16 degrees, so the sunny sections of trail were much appreciated!
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20

We talked to a snowshoer who said the trail ended a couple of miles up at an avalanche chute full of huge drifts of snow, but we turned around a bit sooner when we came to this slope. By then, the wind had picked up and I heard a crack in the snowfield above the trail, time to leave!

PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20

On the way back, the trail had iced up a bit, so I put on my spikes to get around a tree well safely. By then the wind had really picked up, so we were glad to reach the truck and get warmed up!
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20
PCT northbound from Stevens Pass 3/15/20

We left the pass about 4:45, and were amazed to find clear sailing all the way back to Sultan, a rare occurrence on a Sunday!
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Brushbuffalo
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Joined: 17 Sep 2015
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostTue Mar 17, 2020 8:59 am 
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Bluebird day!
Nancyann wrote:
amazed to find clear sailing all the way back to Sultan, a rare occurrence on a Sunday!

Even in a pandemic there can be blessings.

( I just read that   north- bound PCT through- hikers are being encouraged to reconsider their plans.)

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > PCT northbound Stevens Pass conditions update 3/15/20
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