Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hex Mountain Snowshoe

Ok, this is embarrassing, but we didn't make it to the summit of Hex.  We lost the trail after 1.3 miles and spent over an hour looking around using a compass (following N and NE as instructed by the gals review on Dec 31) After reading a review from Feb 2010 it appears we were supposed to take a right at .4 miles and then a left .1 miles after that......oh well.  We'll just have to go back.  But we can tell you how to get to trail head......

  • The sno park is on the left side of the road at Newport Creek about at the 9 mile road marker.  There are a few signs.  It is just a plowed area next to the road for maybe a dozen cars.  We were expecting it to be bigger/wider so we kept driving.  I'll include a picture of a sign.....hope it helps
  • It may be hard to know where to find the actual trail head as there are a few areas that may look like FR 116.  We got there around 10 AM  and there were not a lot of spaces left.  We had to pull up on the snow bank itself to get out of the road, but we were between the sno park signs.  

  • The trail head is across from a very bent white Newport Creek sign.  It is a slight walk down the road on the right side.  It is a very wide path with a gate a ways up.  We carried our shoes up until we got up to the gate.  
 The snow was not that great as it had rained making the snow very crusty.  We had a hard time seeing where anyone had snowshoed before us.....just an old path.  Anyone who went up before us, we could not see even the cleat marks so this may explain why we missed the right trail.  But we are newbies after all.  We plan on going back and fixing our mistakes and making it to the top.  It wasn't a total loss as we made the best of the situation.  A bad day of great views and great company is better than any day at work if you ask us!!!  (and we did climb a great rock pile and made our own summit!)

Joining us today: Barbara and Danielle

Terah, Barbara, Danielle, Jen

If you are here, you went the wrong direction.....

Huge hill, but at the top a great view

Went sliding on a few hills for fun

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mount Margret Snowshoe

We braved the weather reports and went for another snowshoe yesterday.  We cracked out on the WTA website and found something that looked decent.  Mount Margret is in the same snow park as Gold Creek Trail, but they go in opposite directions.  It's easy to find but here are some tips:
  • Exit 54, take left at the end of the ramp.  Take right after the freeway entrance. Follow the road until the end.
  • You can not park in the large turn around.  The sign high up in the trees is what you have to park ahead of to avoid the $150 ticket for parking in the turn around.  It's really out of sight, so look for it.
  • This is a trail shared with snowmobile's, so if you want peace and quiet this is not the trail for you. They will be speeding by all day. We even saw 2 quad runners (that we not supposed to be using the trail.)
  • The entrance for Mount Margret is kind of tricky.  At the 2.2 to 2.5 mile mark the path will split.  The left is what you want to choose and it goes UP more.  (The right stays level)  You will find the parking area on your left and the entrance for the trail head is 100 yrs up to the left, you will see the gate.
  • This trail has a lot more elevation gain than Gold Creek, so be prepared for that.  If this is your first snowshoe it may not be for you. It is not difficult as the trail is groomed, but as Barb who joined us today, said this trail was not what she would choosen for a first trip to the mountains for her first snowshoe.


Bunny tracks!

 We found a really nice meadow to play around in....great views....and we even go a light snow to fall!

Barb steamin up the camera lens

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Snowshoe adventure #1 Gold Creek

All summer long, Terah was bugging me and bugging me to try snow shoeing in the winter.  Hiking will just about be impossible...what are we going to do to stay in hiking shape all winter long.....nag, nag, nag.  I gave in.  Terah wouldn't QUIT!  I had trying snow shoeing in my backyard back in NH when I was a kid. You know, the old school ones----wooden, huge---probably too huge for me.  After a loop around the field (I lived in the middle of no where NH with 40 acre backyard) where we had some snowmobile tracks to blaze a trail for me, I fell, tripped and had a miserable time of it.  I exclaimed 'Why would anyone what to do THAT!' after 10 minutes.  So, giving into Terah was not an easy decision and she really had to work for it.  I'm glad I listened to her.  Terah 'cracked out' on the WTA website and found a nice, easy trail for us at Gold Creek. It's off of I-90 here in Washington--exit 54 (Hyak)  at the end of the exit, take a left and it's right there.  Just keep following the road and take your next right.  You'll NEED a sno park pass ($40 per year, $20 per obviously just better to get it for the year)  to avoid hefty fines.  You'll see the cars lined up on the very snowy road and there are a couple of honey buckets flanking the entrance.  Now loads of people go off trail.  We do not.  Last week, 4 women went off trail and ended up staying the night out there before being rescued.  It may sound boring to play it safe, but we make it home, safe and sound.  Our men like it that way!

Using a GPS tracker program, we found we made it about 7 miles round trip....that's all the trail that was blazed for us .  Being our first trip out ever, we had enough as well.  It's hot work.  We dressed in layers and that was a huge help.  We always stop for lunch (gourmet as much as we can!) and we didn't stop for long.  Warmed up with a little help from a silver friend filled with adult beverage with a homemade skinny vanilla latte chaser.  It was pretty simple, neither of us fell, although we did scratch our gear up a bit here and there.  We were pretty proud of ourselves! 

First time puttin' on the shoes!

We felt pretty bad ass going across this bridge

after lunch the skies started getting ugly

after lunch warm up!

enjoyed by all

 If you would like to read the story of the lost ladies, here is the link to the story in the Seattle Times: