Amabilis Mountain - February 20, 2005

This snowshoe expedition is rated 5 high-tech $60.00 polycarbonate avalanche shovels out of 5 on the Snowshoe Expedition Shovel-o-meter.

It's a sad, sad thing:

The season's last snowshoe trip.

Wait till next Winter!

Last weekend was spent installing 2 new garage door openers, so this weekend we were more than ready to join up with old hiking buddy Rick for an End-of-Winter (such as it hasn't been this year) snowshoeing fling  in the Cascades.  It was a grand plan, especially the part that involved the receipt of another batch of Laurie's Chocolate Chip Cookies.  We all decided to meet up at the North Bend Factory Outlet at 8:00 AM in the freeking morning on Saturday, from whence we planned to proceed to Amabilis Mountain and look around for some snow.  But it was not to be: Rick called on Friday evening to announce that he had been taken ill with an apparent flu bug, and would have to bow out of the trip.  We were sorry to hear of this sad turn of events of course, and wished him a speedy recovery.  Our options were few, since "Man of Leisure" Jack  and "Grandma" Ruth were in Virginia enjoying a lengthy visit with their daughter's family, and Diane, like Rick, had succumbed to a nasty flu bug.   And so it was that we awoke with a start this fine sunny Sunday morning, albeit at 7:10 AM in the freeking morning, and headed out on I-90 to North Bend to the Shell Station for some of the best gas station coffee around, and then on to the Cabin Creek Sno-Park and the trail up to Amabilis Mountain, all by ourselves.

With much optimism we bungee'ed our snowshoes to our packs, and Sue made a last pre-hike stop in one of the porta-potties.

No need for a caption on this one - the look on Sue's face says it all.  And it's not a happy story. 

We started off with snowshoes afoot, but ran into a few bald spots,

where we doffed the MSR's and hiked in the mud for a while.

This is more like it - from here on the loop had plenty of snow.

We stopped for lunch and dined while enjoying a somewhat hazy but still impressive view of Mt. Rainier, and must admit that it did occur to us that Rick was spending the weekend on the ranch with "our" Chocolate Chip Cookies.  A bad case of the flu...  Hmmm...


The red X's mark the avalanche danger areas - best to go around the loop in a counter-clockwise direction and get past these areas as early as possible in the morning before things let loose.

10.0 miles, 2,820'  9:45 - 5:15(?)

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