My wife and I decided to snowshoe to Talapus Lake as we were both curious how much the recent snowfall had changed conditions since our last visit on 12/9/01.
The first challenge was getting by plowed snow left by DOT at the entrance to FRS 9030. Fortunately the snow was only three feet deep and about twenty-five feet wide on the far right end of the road. After thirty minutes I had shoveled about two feet off the top, stamped down any remaining sections, and then drove our Subaru over the top. We drove about 1-½ miles up 9030 until the snow was to deep to continue, however, the real challenge will be just past two miles where a small avalanche covers the road with about ten feet of snow. It will take some time for this accumulation to melt.
At the trailhead there was 3 ½ feet of snow and the conditions were wet and soft all the way to the lake. Very few parties had ventured beyond this point and by the first plateau there were no tracks in front of us except for one party that had turned off the trail and headed in a Northwest direction. We left the trail at the first contact point with Talapus Creek and went straight up hill to the final switchback that leads to the wilderness boundary sign. Snow covered the lower portions of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness sign so I would put the depth here at six feet.
We took the winter route to Talapus lake staying on the West side of the creek and were rewarded with a very serene break at the lake, except for the always-entertaining Gray Jays. Encountered only two other parties that were snow shoeing on 9030.
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