Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Washington Cascades Weather- Extended Outlook

Issued 3-28-2017
Forecast models continue the pattern that we have seen for much of this winter and start of spring. Troughs of low pressure will continue to drop down from the Gulf of Alaska. Thus we can expect above normal precipitation with normal to slightly below normal temperatures. This pattern will be in place through April 10. However, this does not mean we will have precipitation every day and we should get some breakd with this Thursday and Friday showing signs of a drying pattern.

500 mb map (18,000') for April 7

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Fagin's Hike of the Week- Finding the Sun

Updated  3-28-2017
Less than a two hour drive will get you to the almost always sunny Vantage (near) Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park 
Note that the flower pictures were taken in prior years so we are probably a week or 2 away from flowers. Thanks to Alan Bauer for many of the photos

Sage Violet @ Alan Bauer
Cirrus clouds @ Alan Bauer 

Desert Shooting Star @ Alan Bauer 
Desert Bluebells @ Alan Bauer
Horned Lizard @ Alan Bauer
Columbia River from Ginkgo

 After Ginkgo State Park drive less than two miles to the north there is Rocky Coulee Recreation Center.

Enjoying views of Columbia River

Sage of course

Balsamroot @ Karen Sykes
Then back on I-90 East and cross the Columbia River and stopped by the Wild Horses

Wild Horse @ Karen Sykes
Back on I-90 to  Frenchman Coulee east of Vantage
Climbers always here

Michael enjoying the views @ Karen Sykes

Driving Directions: To visitors Center from Seattle take I-90 East and take exit 136 toward Vantage/Huntzinger Rd. Then left onto Main St/Vantage Hwy/Wanapum Rd Continue to follow Vantage Hwy less then a mile follow signs to Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park Interpretive Center. After this center then drive a short 2 miles west on Old Vantage Highway and Parking lot is on right for the hiking trails.
Trail stats: 3 miles minimal
Photo below is map of area

Directions are the best estimates that we have so please bring map and compass and or GPS.

Directions to Frenchman's Coulee: From Ellensburg, drive east on Interstate 90 to exit 143. After exiting, turn left under the freeway. At 0.8 mile, turn left onto Vantage Road. Drive 2.7 miles to the parking area on the right (north) side of the road. You will need a Washington State Discover Pass for Ginkgo and Frenchman Coulee .

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Fagin's Hike of the Week- Just a mellow road walk

Updated March 23, 2017

This is a snowfree walk on a gated road on Hancock land (you will need permit). This walk is located off of Hwy 410 and is east of Euumclaw. This is south facing so snow is gone and offers views of Mt. Rainier.

Mt. Rainier hiding in Lenticular Cloud
Road walk with views to the south
Michael and Frank (dog) @ Dennis Long

Track of hike thanks Dennis for this
Trail Stats: You can wonder as long as you want. We just did short hike 6.5 miles roundtrip and 1500' gain. See above track.

Driving Directions: From the intersection of Hwy 410 and 284th Ave SE go about 8.8 miles east and there is a gated road on the left that you can park at. GPS waypoint 47.164108, -121.818890 . Here it is on google maps 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Weather Washington Cascades: Extended Outlook

Issued March 21, 2016

Forecast models continue the pattern of dropping troughs of low pressure (see map below) from the Gulf of Alaska. This pattern should remain in place through April 3. With this pattern can  we will have below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation.

500 MB (18,000') for March 30

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Fagin's Hike of the Week- Taylor Mt

Updated 3-15-2017

If you are looking for a mostly snowfree road or trail walk that is close in this is for you. This area (King Ct. Parks) is east of Issaquah. This was hiked last week and I would think this patchy snow should be mostly gone by this weekend.

Road walk, with patchy snow at times @ Dennis Long
This was our turnaround point at 4.2 miles in with one inch of snow @ Dennis Long
There are many side trails one can take @ Dennis Long

Driving Directions: From I-90 take exit 17 (Front Street), and turn right (south) onto Front Street and continue south through Issaquah. Front Street becomes Issaquah-Hobart Road as you leave town. Continue south along this road to its junction with State Route 18. Cross under SR 18 and drive short distance and turn left into Taylor Mountain Forest, King County Parks. No fees required.

Trail Stats: Since many of the trails were very muddy we decided to do a mellow road walk Road A to Road H and went 8.5 miles and 1200' gain. See track below. 

Our track
Click here for a map of the park.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Weather Washington Cascades: Extended Outlook

Issued March 15, 2017

Forecast models continue the pattern of an active storm track over the West Coast as troughs of low pressure will drop down from the Gulf of Alaska at times (see map). With this pattern precipitation will tend to continue at above normal through the end of March. Temperatures will vary greatly over this period so hard to comment on that.

500 mb (18,000') for March 25

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Fagin's Hike (Ski) of the Week- Huckleberry Creek

Updated March 9,2017

This east of the town Greenwater off of Hwy 410. This can be a very icy road with marginal snow coverage however this year is providing LOTS of snow . You can go as long or as short as you want on FS 73 and the grade is very gentle. You can also snowshoe. Thanks to Curtis Allen for the photos and this was skied last Sunday March 5.

Gentle grade easy ski @ Curtis Allen
Happy Tersea, @ Curtis Allen
You can ski for miles @ Curtis Allen

Driving Directions: From Enumclaw head east on SR 410. Before the Dalles Campground turn right on Forest Road 73. Proceed 1.5 miles to Sun Top Sno-Park (need to pay for permit). Depending if road is plowed you might need high clearance 4 wheel drive
Trail Stats: Go 4 miles one way, or less with minimal gain.


Disclaimer: There are many factors which you should consider in deciding whether to proceed with an outing, including the visible weather at the trailhead, the strength and experience of the party, snow and avalanche conditions, route conditions, etc. You are the final decision maker whether to proceed. West Coast Weather, LLC dba Washington Online Weather cannot be held liable for loss or injury arising from your decision to proceed, and expressly disclaims all liability related thereto. Redmond, Washington USA. Also, please bring map-compass and GPS to help with trail directions as our directions are our best estimate.
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