We were somewhat hesitant about what to do with the inversion and skeptical with the mostly sunny forecast. How thick was it ? Was there sunshine above, and warmer temps ? We decided to just bring the kitchen sink in layers and plenty of coffee starting from the Swakane Canyon TH up Entiat Ridge. It was cool in the freezing fog to start, but eventually around 2900' - 3000' we rose from the creeping death where we initially had some sun in the partly sunny skies which eventually became mostly cloudy. The hiking was easy on the road route with snow coverage max. 4 - 6" grinding out about 7.5 miles before hitting our destination after 2 pm on "Balcony" 4925' a large basalt plateau like out cropping which usually gives good views which were limited this day. We had lunch and coffee but didn't stay long with the cooling temps and winds departing back East along Entiat Ridge and down a steep ridge back into the inversion and the bottom of Swakane Canyon. It was pretty neat hiking in the dark out of the canyon. Long day, but good exercise. 12 miles in this weather should be equal to 20 plus in the Spring.
Badger Mountain and Mission Ridge on the other side of the river.
Balcony highpoint with Burch Ridge / Peak across Swakane Canyon.
Looks cool, was cold with the West winds and 30ish temps especially after the warm coffee was gone.
Looking back at the East side of "Balcony" an open plateauish high point along Entiat Ridge with excellent views (on a clear day).
Out of the overcast and wind chill and entering the Izone around 3000'.
Steve descending the steep ridge back down into the inversion at the bottom of Swakane Canyon.
We kept a brisk pace and my body is still feeling it. I wore my Hokaa One Speed Hikers which were cush. with 4mm lugs but off trail in snow and basalt the ankles were stress tested. Big Bend was snow free on the South access to 5700'.
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