I couldn't believe that we were actually thinking of burning off our Thanksgiving feast with some skinning and shredding. However, as everyone knows, this kind of weather will make one go to drastic measures...in fact, Kyle and I voted Chris would have to be the first to be eaten, should that scenario arise. (For anyone curious, this decision is arrived at by a quick "1,2,3 - Not it." Chris, a friend of Kyle's from work, was learning how to skin, so we decided to pick something that might have a trail that would be covered in snow. Blue Lake sounded good, and from the report we read, it sounded alright. After checking the forecasts, we voted on 6am in Seattle to get a good start. After leaving Seattle at 7, and gradually driving into what looked to be somewhat promising weather, we made our way up towards Washington Pass. We passed two people near the Rainy Pass area and pulled off the road at Blue Lake. Liberty Bell and the Spires were like ghostly apparitions in the distance.
Chris and Kyle skinning to the first coulior on the north side of the lake
Scott skinning up
We pressed on, laughing at the light, knee (to waist in some spots) deep powder we were going to ride.
However, as we proceeded up, we began breaking in a bootpack about 1/3 of the way up. The snow became heavier, and I was kicking into what felt like a crappy crust layer.
The snow pack was about 1.5' of increasingly heavier mank seated on top of a hard, broken ice layer, covering the surface of the scree by about 4". Failure on 9th elbow rap...we kept hiking.
Kyle topped out at 7400', myself about 75vf below.
Heading towards the top
I thought conditions, by the time we turned around, were horrible, but Kyle's opinion dissented.
Kyle ripping down
We hiked out in the dark, noticing the drastic increase in temps, and seeing it through the glow of the flashlights on the quickly melting trail. We finished out the day and after seeing first had what a drunk driver could have been capable of, returned unscathed with hearts in throats, to use Saturday to recover .