Snow Lake (Almost)

Start by saying a hearty thank you to the Forest Service crew tearing out and replacing all those rotted old steps at the beginning of trail #1013. You guys are the best and your corners are neat!

I hiked up just past the pass on June 30th (about 2 days after the peak heat wave) and the south facing slopes of the trail are all but clear of snow. There are a number of downed trees, easily crossed, which I’ve noted in the video. Not a big deal, although with the amount of traffic this trail routinely sees to Snow Lake someone with a long bar saw is going to need to get up there sooner than later.

Water bars are all full. Like, in some cases, you can’t even tell there is a water bar there. I doubt anyone will notice until round about next September, but between now and then is prime time for cleaning them out.

The upper section of steps is badly eroded. Add to this that a number of turns on switch backs have good sized rocks rolled into them and the danger factor increases rapidly. The worst part about these is that with all that loose stone there is the possibility that some of it could roll down hill onto people traveling on lower sections of trail. It’s going to need attention.

Back side of pass is, as usual for this time of year a nasty complex of weak snow balanced precariously on steep slopes. It does not require a rope team, but be extra careful if you attempt to make your way down to the water. The top later of the white stuff is ice and extra abrasive if you happen to take a tumble. If you posthole, especially where it’s deep, you’re going to regret it in the morning at best. Let’s not discuss worst case scenarios. I chose to stay on the ridge because I don’t gamble.

There are flowers out still despite the heat wave. Some of them are more crispy than others. Look for bear grass coming up and out. Heather is in good shape where it stayed moist. Glacier lily is still about, but much of it has gone to seed. Lots of strawberries if you keep your skull orbs peeled.

I didn’t try for Source Lake suspecting that it was probably a snowy mess worse than the back side of the pass. Prove me wrong, I’m good with that. There was a lot of white stuff making a racket above it too and all that will come down some time or other. Be careful trail nerd, be careful.

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