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ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 477 | TRs | Pics
Location: University place, wa
ozzy
The hard way
PostTue May 16, 2023 7:10 pm 
It's been kind of a quiet season thus far for myself. As luck would have it we were blessed with a nice forecast for the weekend though borank.gif , a good time to go out and get the legs tuned up! Bryan was onboard as usual this trip and we decided to go out Thursday and Friday. The objective for this mission would be Big Snow! It's been on my radar for awhile and I figured it would make for a nice quiet trip this time of year. I've never traveled out to this area before so I was definitely excited to explore some newness. On Thursday morning I picked up Bryan and we made our way to the Dingford creek TH, arriving around 6am. The road is crappy so high clearance recommended. After a bit we set off at 645am. We were approaching via Myrtle lake. After a few miles we hit intermittent snow and donned the snowshoes. We kept them on for maybe half a mile before we got annoyed of walking on bare ground with them, the rest of the way to Myrtle lake we didn't really even need them anyhow, lol. moon.gif Upon arriving at the lake we had our first views of Big Snow proper! Wowwweeeee, what a cool looking mountain!! rocker.gif Also we had nice look at the chute we would take up to our camp! It looks rather daunting from afar but we figured it would be trivial once inside the beast. The plan was to camp at either Big Snow lake or Snowflake lake, which both lie 1200ft above Myrtle lake. So we took a nice break here. Avy danger seemed to be minimal, slides visible were a few days old. The time was 11am. It was kind of a slog to get to the lake, there were definitely a lot of posthole shenanigans! doof.gif
Pumpkinseed falls
Pumpkinseed falls
Big Snow from Myrtle lk, the chute is down to left
Big Snow from Myrtle lk, the chute is down to left
Looking north across Myrtle
Looking north across Myrtle
After an hour or so we put snowshoes on and took off towards the mouth of said chute. First we had to find a crossing to get over the outflow of Myrtle lake. The snow banks were still 6-8ft high which meant we had limited options, but as luck would have it we found a good tree that fell nicely across. We ended up utilizing the butt schooch method to cross! It kind of reminds me of when ones' dog drags it's ass across the carpet at home. breakdance.gif Not the most glamorous technique but effective lol. After the crossing another 400ft was gained then we transitioned to pons and axe. The last 600ft inside the chute wasn't as bad as we thought and went by quickly considering how slow we had felt all day. humpy.gif Moderately steep all the way. The last 50ft had a waterfall that undermined the snow which disappeared quickly back under the snow. It was easily bypassed to the right but definitely a no fall zone. eek.gif Sorry no pics of that spot, I just wanted to get by it. Once atop the chute the scenery blew us away! Big Snow proper seemed crazy close! banana.gif The lakes we still frozen over and there's still a descent amount of snow on surrounding slopes. Man, the granite architecture of this place is mesmerizing. I'm glad we picked this summit, I had almost bailed and wanted to do another peak. Goddamn the rewards were paying off now! We decided to set up the bivies at snowflake lk since we had a nice view of the route ahead. And wouldn't you know it we decided just to chill out for the rest of the day and enjoy the scene, after all we still had a stash of whiskey and vodka to get rid of! rocker.gif The time was 2pm. Around 5pm while napping I awoke to the sound of rain hitting the bivy, sh##! We both retreated to the bivies. I was a bit worried I botched the forecast lol, but It ended up just being a constant shower with some sleet for about 1.5hrs thank god. Nice sunny weather until the sun went down after that, a sweet starry night followed after that to end the day. cheers.gif
Boot scooter lol
Boot scooter lol
Halfway up chute looking down towards Myrtle
Halfway up chute looking down towards Myrtle
Almost
Almost
I'm above the waterfall, Bryan lower
I'm above the waterfall, Bryan lower
Big Snow lk
Big Snow lk
The upper reaches of the mountain
The upper reaches of the mountain
Big snow lk
Big snow lk
mirin'
mirin'
Bivy site
Bivy site
At 7am we arose from the cocoons and at 8am shouldered light packs to clamber up the last 1800ft, I think in less than a mile too! hink.gif Snowflake lake was still frozen enough just to walk across and start climbing. Generally we traveled SE and stuck to the easiest terrain. Views opened up quick and conditions were nice until the last 400ft to get to the ridge. ninja.gif It began to get a little sloppy up through here. The lakes down below looked cool too. Once we crested the, the whole Snoqualmie crest is right in your face! Sicky icky indeed! borank.gif The day was just as forecasted, sunny and clear baby! The volcanoes up north were visible and the entirety of the ALW as well! From here the summit lies a little to the south and a couple hundred feet higher. We hit the summit at 10am and the views were mind blowing as expected, I love the way Big Snow is situated! It's in the middle of a lot of badass stuff. I've never really been in this little area, more stuff to do than I originally thought! Rainier was showing to the south as well as all the cool peaks in the Snoqualmie region. One that I never thought about was Treen pk to the west. It definitely moved up on my list while looking at it and it turns out Neek and Dave were up the that same day! Cheers boys! cheers.gif There was a stiff cool breeze up top so we sought out some calmer terrain down lower to smoke and enjoy the last of the vodka. Oooowwwweee, what a day! banana.gif
Heading up with the three lks below
Heading up with the three lks below
Nice travel
Nice travel
Bryan coming on up
Bryan coming on up
The crest area peaks
The crest area peaks
The last bit to the summit
The last bit to the summit
Views south from top. Rainier looms might and Snoqualmie peaks in front
Views south from top. Rainier looms might and Snoqualmie peaks in front
B-Dawg bringing it
B-Dawg bringing it
Out to Hinman and Daniel
Out to Hinman and Daniel
GP way out there
GP way out there
Lemah,Chikamin and friends
Lemah,Chikamin and friends
Thomson in the center there
Thomson in the center there
Chimney lemah chikamin
Chimney lemah chikamin
Bryan trying to warm up
Bryan trying to warm up
yeah
yeah
God I love this place
God I love this place
down down down
down down down
Around 1230pm we didn't want to, but we had to start the walk out. It started to warm up a bit more than the day before. On the way back to camp Bryan enjoyed some nice glissades. At 115pm we were back at camp and took our time packing up, it was hard leaving here too. huh.gif At 2pm it was time to go, going back down the chute was a bit more intimidating. The waterfall disappeared into a black hole of death...don't fall. After that it was easy peasy the whole way to the car, kinda annoying at times with the variable snow conditions. Some of those stretches are minefields lol. The good news is I think snowshoe season is over, yewwww! smile.gif At 6pm we finally reached the car. What a sweet little nook in the mountains, I gotta get back in there more! I think the stats for this one is some like 14miles and 5300ft gain. We did it over a day and a half and I was still pretty sore. Maybe I'm gettin old but I'm just blaming it on conditions lol. hockeygrin.gif Anyhows thanks goes out to B-Dawg for joining again, now let's go get another one. Cheers to all fellow wanderers!! cheers.gif
Bryan above the nast lil waterfall
Bryan above the nast lil waterfall
Cool hollow tree
Cool hollow tree
Until next time
Until next time

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames”-Mr Mojo Risin

Cam, neek, Pyrites, MangyMarmot, Fedor, bivouacjack, wallorcrawl, Theboywhocriedroute, geyer, Anne Elk, Waterman, rubywrangler, Kim Brown, tNguyen, contour5, Kascadia, TeeJay, John Mac, yukon222, Nancyann, Now I Fly, jaysway, Bootpathguy, zimmertr, ALW Hiker, Tom, LukeHelgeson, Bramble_Scramble  KascadeFlat, Gimpilator, awilsondc
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chiwakum
not credible



Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 980 | TRs | Pics
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chiwakum
not credible
PostTue May 16, 2023 7:19 pm 
Cool trip up.gif Where'd you camp?

ozzy
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LukeHelgeson
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LukeHelgeson
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PostTue May 16, 2023 8:50 pm 
Fantastic Summit! I walked around Big Snow this weekend and we saw tracks up high on that route; figured whomever it was had a great view from the top.

ozzy
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RichP
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RichP
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PostWed May 17, 2023 7:20 am 
Sweet! Love that area. up.gif

ozzy
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Dr. T
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Dr. T
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PostWed May 17, 2023 9:07 am 
Nice trip report. Thinking about doing this as a long day hike. How bad is that road getting in, got a Pontiac vibe that I’ve gotten to most trailheads with?

ozzy
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NWtrax
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NWtrax
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PostWed May 17, 2023 9:14 am 
Those are some tasty views, great report!

ozzy
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yukon222
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yukon222
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PostWed May 17, 2023 9:56 am 
Another fun read of your adventures! Big Snow is a good one. I’ve camped overnight in the Spring and dayhiked in Summer - think I prefer the camp overnight to really enjoy the views.

ozzy
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ozzy
The hard way



Joined: 30 Jul 2015
Posts: 477 | TRs | Pics
Location: University place, wa
ozzy
The hard way
PostWed May 17, 2023 5:30 pm 
Dr. T wrote:
How bad is that road getting in, got a Pontiac vibe that I’ve gotten to most trailheads with?
I made it in my outback, almost scraped in a few spots.

“I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames”-Mr Mojo Risin
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zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman



Joined: 24 Jun 2018
Posts: 1242 | TRs | Pics
Location: Issaquah
zimmertr
TJ Zimmerman
PostWed May 17, 2023 5:33 pm 
I've been up there three times in my Forester (8" clearance I think?). The last time I had to slowly pull into a perpendicular washout and rock the car up and over the other side. Other than that, it's just a badly cratered road IMO. Definitely doable with an SUV if you are experienced with driving forest roads.

Flickr | Strava

ozzy
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raising3hikers
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raising3hikers
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PostWed May 17, 2023 7:06 pm 
Must be climbing season, another cool TR by ozzy

Eric Eames

wallorcrawl, KascadeFlat, Off Route Randy, zimmertr, Now I Fly  ozzy
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Dr. T
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Dr. T
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PostWed May 17, 2023 11:02 pm 
Dope, thanks guys. Gonna give it a go

ozzy
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



Joined: 13 Feb 2007
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostSat May 20, 2023 3:46 pm 
It's really fun to see what that gully up to Big Snow Lake looks like with snow in it. I bet there was a lot of water flowing under the snow where you didn't take shots -- and I get why you wouldn't. Big Snow is my favorite Middle Fork peak with several way to get up, all of them scenic and with their own attractions.

Mid Fork Rocksflickr

ALW Hiker, ozzy
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Pyrites
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Pyrites
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PostSat May 20, 2023 8:59 pm 
I do like Hollow Tree.

Keep Calm and Carry On? Heck No. Stay Excited and Get Outside!

ozzy
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker



Joined: 21 Jun 2009
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zephyr
aka friendly hiker
PostSun May 21, 2023 11:15 am 
Beautiful country, peak weather, and an inspirational report. Nice work, ozzy. ~z

ozzy
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