Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
|Obviously a popular destination... but this was my first visit to Mt. Pilchuck. 8Buck had been here before, but not when there was snow on the trail.
I don't think a lot has changed since the last Trip Report in mid-May.
Snow level is higher since then but the more than half the distance and elevation remains snow-covered.
Beware of the thinning snow bridges down low.
The lower part of the Pilchuck road is pretty washboardy up until you reach the Heather Lake trail. After that it is much smoother most of the way to the trail head.
Upon our arrival at 10:00am on this wet and 'forecasted to get worse' day there were only 4 other vehicles in the lot - based on what I had heard I was expecting many more. By the time we returned to our vehicle the lot certainly had more than 20 vehicles. Whoa!
8Buck and I were well prepared for the weather and the conditions, but many of the people we passed on the trail clearly weren't expecting this much snow (or wind... or rain near as I can tell).
We did come across a few groups that had realized they were not prepared for the current conditions and made the wise choice to turn around. Others, equally unprepared, clearly decided to proceed onward. I suppose I can still remember the days when I was that invincible so I'll spare you all the soapbox.
We were hoping the weather would cooperate a little bit, despite the forecast. It didn't. Forecasts like this are not usually good news when looking to summit a mountain, but it did give both of us a chance to test out our new rain gear. I'm pleased with my North Face Prophecy purchase, while 8Buck was much less satisfied with the performance of his rainwear.
I always meet Cairn on the trail...
Ultimately, we cut the trip short today for a reasons, including raingear and summit view issues. Thus... this is just Part 1. Hopefully Part 2 will follow within a month.
Half expecting this to happen, we were prepared to complete the day with a trip to Heather Lake. Well... by the time we reached the Heather Lake TH, the car was warm, the wet gear was in a big pile and it was pouring cats and dogs with no end in sight.
We did the honorable thing that any wet but unquenched hiker would do: Grande Coffee from Sbux... but not until after I finally remembered to stop and grab this excellent shot:
Frankelvis or Elvistein?
Anyone else see this thing?
Finally arrived back home... no more rain.
"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas." ~John Dryden
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