The Washington Cascades didn't have a winter in 2014-2015 (warmest Dec. and Feb. on record). This was February 2015, conditions more like June (no exaggeration). It's about 6 miles to the little peak at left in this photo, with 4600' of gain. The first mile was bare trail (usually it would be many feet of snow, and I wouldn't even be able to drive to the trailhead). We'll snowshoe to that little snowy notch (Surprise Gap), then walk left up the ridge crest:
This is Surpise Mtn. (to the right of the snowy notch). This north facelooks nasty, but the southeast ridge (at left) is an easy walk, with a trail. There used to be a fire lookout up there. Gwynnie and Al have each climbed it. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) goes to the right:
Now we're on snowshoes. Note the avalanche track in the center. That was soon after the snow fell, Avalanche danger is almost zero today, at least on this cold north side. It's almost noon; we're going slow:
Snowshoeing solo with a corgi is tedious because I must leave a continuous trench for the dog. I can't take long, efficient steps, and they must overlap. A corgi following a solo snowshoe track can look like a zigzag sewing machine stitching, and it tires out the corgi. Much easier with two humans. Look in the shaded snow center-right, and you'll see our tracks below:
My dog is so lazy. All she ever does is sleep. The distant peak at far right is 7200' (it starts at about 1000'). Gwynnie has climbed it twice, including last August. I've climbed everything else in the picture; it's not as hard as it looks:
Gwynnie has climbed the little white thing at far left (White Mt., 7000'). The volcano is Glacier Peak (the south side). Al has been to 9200' on it, his high point. There was not enough snow, too rocky to be corgi-friendly, so we gave up.
This is about 90 degrees of the view, west to north. Two volcanoes are visible; Glacier Peak at right, and Mt. Baker on the far horizon. Highway US2 traverses across the foreground in that deep valley. This is why I do this. Scenery is wasted on dogs; Gwynnie says she does it 'cause it's there, but that's a lie (let sleeping dogs lie) -- she just does it 'cause she gets fed triple.