The Snows of Stehekin
What a winter it has been this year in the Pacific Northwest! Near record snowfalls and way below average temperatures. And this spring-yep-still more snow and still below normal when it comes to checking the mercury. Last week Alan Bauer and I spent the good part of the week researching our upcoming Day Hiking the Central Cascades Book (Mountaineers Books due for release spring 2009) in the Stehekin Valley. They had quite a winter there too and there's still plenty of snow in the valley at 1,200 feet elevation. The entire 2.5 mile hike to Agnes Gorge was on 2 to feet of snow. Coon Lake? Buried! Stehekin River? Still patches of snow. Even the Buckner Orchard still had snow patches. But the Lakeshore Trail and Rainbow Loop were free from the leftover winter blanket. Still nice and cool so no need to worry about the rattlers. It will be quite some time before trails above High Bridge start melting out. Bring the skis! Have fun!