December 7, 2013« More activities from 2013
We left the church at about 9am, drove up to Snoqualmie Pass, and parked at the lot just past the main parking lot at Alpental. The temperature at the parking lot was about 10 degrees F when we arrived. Once our gear was on, we crossed the road, took a group photo at the Snow Lake trailhead, and began our hike at 10:30am. Though there was snow on the ground, it was not very deep and the trail was compacted pretty well, so we carried our snowshoes. We met a few other groups out on the trail. The sun was out in force, which helped to warm us up a bit, so we were glad to have our sunglasses. The trail to Snow Lake starts as the same trail to Source Lake which is pretty easy, but after about a mile and a half, the Snow Lake trail cuts off to the right and heads up to the top of the ridge. It is steep and has several switchbacks. There were also a few tricky spots where creeks had frozen over the trail, but it was pretty fun to be standing on ice with water flowing and bubbling below us. There were sheets of icicles throughout the hike that were cool to see too.
We made it to the ridge above Snow Lake at about 4,400′ elevation by noon. The view was fantastic with the partially frozen lake below us, Chair Peak to our left, Snoqualmie Mountain to our right, and a pretty coat of snow over all the trees around us. We sat down for lunch on the ridge, and got a stove going with water for cocoa and Cup of Noodles which a couple Scouts brought for lunch. It was good to have some heat up there, because it was probably about 5 degrees F, and there was a little breeze too.
After lunch and a little snow play just below the ridge, we headed back down the trail. On the way, we met more hikers, and saw some ice climbers working their way up a huge wall of ice. We made it back down to the cars by 2pm and the road conditions were great, so we got back to the church by 3:30pm. It was a really fun trip, but it was nice to warm up in the cars too. In all, the hike was about 4.5 miles round trip, climbing about 1,300 feet. – MHG