Update Friday night 1/12/18
Hyak to Lake Easton State Park reports 12" new snow, 37 degrees and raining at 4:30 PM this afternoon and grooming is on schedule. Conditions are good.
Wild normal winter weather last weekend, through the week and returning today!
Weather is winter. Ice can be annoying unless you like to ice skate. Often in our area, we will get these ice storms. Well, we sure got a coating last Friday and even on Sunday it was still melting off branches. Often when there are these ice episodes, branches break and trees fall down causing power issues and then sometimes the power companies come in, plow the John Wayne Pioneer Trail and head off to fix something. This did not appear to happen this time.
Today was a major storm and the pass was closed most of the day for eastbound. At pass level it is heavy snow and as I write this, getting heavier. Considering how little snow we have, this addition is very welcome. Pay attention to avalanche forecasts if you venture into the back country.
So, some tidbits to keep in mind, Sno-Parks are not sanded after ice storms nor necessarily plowed after every couple of inches of snow. For example, Crystal Springs is a shared use Sno-Park and the snowmobilers and dog mushers like having some snow in the parking lot. Hence the reason it is not necessarily plowed to gravel. Also, parking lots will not be plowed in the daytime. Be prepared for slush.
Sno-Park snow removal is contracted out to a variety of individuals and organizations. Some of those groups have higher priorities and get to the Sno-Parks after you are able to even get there in the first place. Hyak and Gold Creek are 2 that come to mind - sometimes they will get a quick pass during the storm, but be prepared if you plan to go to either of those as it is what you get and it can be days on occasion before those 2 are buffed out.
I am sure none of you have ever been stuck in parking lots, but I sure have been - more than once..... It is a good idea to have winter traction aids packed away. And - that really big shovel I mentioned last year when you leave your car overnight and it storms.
So on those days when we can walk on top of the ice crusted snow is when we love our grooming.
On those days of heavy wet snow, we love our grooming.
New this season: USFS will lead snowshoe walks out of Swauk Campground this season, see press release here
They will continue to lead the very popular walks out of Snoqualmie Pass, see info here
These are typically very popular and if you are interested, plan in advance. If you are new to snow play via snowshoes, these trips are a great way to be introduced as experts lead the trips and can give tips on staying comfortable and teach the group about the area ecology.
Update Friday Jan. 12, 2018 - Pipe Creek is OPEN. trees are cleared.
The South Loop out of Cabin Creek is groomed twice a week and is a perfect quiet small area perfect for beginning skiers.
I have added more weather links to the important links here
Saturday Jan. 13th Erling Stordahl: Ski For Light
Crystal Springs: Meany Lodge Trek and Lunch
Saturday Jan. 20th Crystal Springs: Meany Lodge Trek and Lunch
Sunday Jan. 21st Hyak: Snoqualmie Nordic - Treats on the Trail