Walking Gwynnie around the neighborhood.

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.

Just walking the dog.  She's almost 12 y.o.  Sadly, two of her littermates are gone already.

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Comment by Holly on March 23, 2015 at 12:58pm

Nice neighborhood! Great dog.

Comment by Gwyneth Newcomb on March 23, 2015 at 12:30pm
BTW Love her name!
Comment by Gwyneth Newcomb on March 23, 2015 at 12:29pm
Wow! Beautiful photos. How wonderful to have all that beauty in your backyard. Gwynnie is Super Dog. I don't think my one year old could keep up with you guys.
Comment by Geri & Sidney on March 23, 2015 at 2:17am

Good to see another post from you John. Gorgeous photos as always, and I am in awe of Gwynnie!

Comment by Shippo & Koga Corgis on March 22, 2015 at 12:37am

That looks glorious.  I'm so jealous.  So is Shippo!

Comment by Kathy Losacco on March 21, 2015 at 8:34pm

Good to see Gwynnie still making tracks at 12.  Austin is coming up ten, so I know he still has a couple of good years left. 

Comment by Diane on March 20, 2015 at 11:43pm
Great pics & beautiful scenery.. Love seeing corgis in the snow!
Comment by Alison Prasavath on March 20, 2015 at 3:32pm

All I can say is Gwynnie deserves to take a nap after that! Such beautiful pictures and she looks like the sweetest girl as well. I always enjoy reading your hiking stories for not only the scenery but the commentary as well. I do love the Cascades, but Noodles and I are more beach bums. Digging in the snow isn't as much fun as digging in the sand or at least that's what Noodles tells me.

Comment by susan on March 20, 2015 at 3:07pm

Wow!  Absolutely awesome that Gwynnie goes with you on your hikes.  It looks like she just trudges along in your tracks.  Six miles, up hill in the snow - and she is 12 years old?  Wow!  Supa Sta! 

Beautiful scenery.  Makes me miss the cascades.  I used to live in Seattle and spend weekends in the mountains.  There is no place prettier. 

Comment by Beth on March 20, 2015 at 12:05pm
Gorgeous as always. So happy to hear she can still hike the trails with you but always sad to see how fast the time goes by. The hardest to deal with was actually my cat, Alice, because I was about 21 when I found her and so we were young together.....

Keep on keepin' on, Gwynnie.

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