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zeldathewelder
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Location: Renton, WA, USA
zeldathewelder
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PostMon Dec 05, 2022 12:02 pm 
On a snowy Sunday we opted for a no- scenery snowshoe where the obstacles would be minimized, but we would still have several hours outside. (We have a metric of however long it takes to drive, round trip must be the minimum time we spend hiking or snowshoeing.) Mowich seemed a prime opportunity- no freeway pass traffic/weather issues, no ski area crowds, far off the main road. Yet, no avalanche hazards and a clear route to follow. We were able to drive up to the park gate, aka the Paul Peak trailhead. Enough other vehicles and occasional plows had been there through the week we had no problems uphill in the 4Runner in 4-Low. Only high clearance 4-wheel drive is going to get in and out of the parking lot. The pit toilets at the parking lot were open!
As soon as we passed the park gate, the going was slow. My husband, a very strong man, broke trail about 75 percent of the entire route, switching out with me just to give himself a break. The snow was deep and heavy powder. We sunk down, even with snowshoes above the ankles at first, then later on up to knees.
Heading east up the road, were could not locate the Grindstone Trail, the shortcut through the woods, at first. The orange route marker up I the tree only is visible by going past the trail, then turning around and looking along the south side of the road. In the process, my husband literally tripped on the trail sign buried in the snow! Once on the Grindstone Trail, the route was wonderfully by the orange tabs, each tab oriented towards the direction of the buried trail’s route. Although the snow was just as deep, if not deeper along the trail, our attitudes were immensely improved by knowing we were now on the shortcut and it being so clearly signed.
The Grindstone Trail pops back out on the road but shaves off 2.3 miles of grueling trail breaking! From there, we continued on to the campground, if for nothing else a shelter to cover us while we ate lunch.
At the campground parking lot, there were no views- the snow clouds were socked in. However, the pit toilets here, also, were open, clean, and stocked with TP! We took advantage of the roof by shedding our packs and snowshoes, eating in the breezeway.
We did not tarry- wet, cold and nothing no visual gratification for all the hard work, we were heading back. Even though it was easier returning, it was a very long push back to the park gate, with the light beginning to fade as we approached the 4Runner.
We began up the route at 8:45 AM, arrived at the campground at 1 PM, and then returned to the 4Runner at 3:45 PM. 8.46 miles in 7 hours, overall. Very tired, very sore, very happy for having accomplished something so strenuous. My final note: the drive down the Mowich Road was very slippery- even in 4 low, sometimes in 1st gear, we fishtailed many, many times. If you do drive this road, be very careful and prepared to self-rescue.

​It's an exploration, rather than an expectation of you today- body, breath, emotion and thought.

KascadeFlat, Bramble_Scramble, philfort, Now I Fly, ALW Hiker  RichP
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flatsqwerl
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PostMon Dec 05, 2022 4:28 pm 
Wow I am impressed you got the vehicle in that far considering how low the snow level has been for a while. up.gif

philfort
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KascadeFlat
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Location: Eating peanut M&Ms under my blue tarp
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PostTue Dec 06, 2022 7:11 am 
My friend and I snowshoed to Mowich lake in fresh snow a couple years ago. The tedious and difficult the trail breaking is burned into my memory. Congrats on making it all the way up!

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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Malachai Constant
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Location: Back Again Like A Bad Penny
Malachai Constant
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PostTue Dec 06, 2022 1:21 pm 
Skied up to Mowich weird guy at trailhead wanted to go with us, we avoided him when we got back one of our tires was slashed. Did not go back.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn

Ski
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philfort
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PostTue Dec 06, 2022 3:08 pm 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Skied up to Mowich weird guy at trailhead wanted to go with us, we avoided him when we got back one of our tires was slashed. Dond not go back.
Recently? That area definitely attracts weirdos... I've had a handful of uncomfortable incidents up there.

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Ski
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PostTue Dec 06, 2022 9:24 pm 
East Pierce County can be a bit sketchy in places. Sorry about your trouble, MC. That's awful. BK

"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Dec 06, 2022 10:16 pm 
It was a long time ago maybe 10-20 years ago, bastard did slash the sidewall though.I think it was a 84 Tercel 4x4.

"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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