Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Fagin's Hike of the Week- Mount Dickerman

Just hiked this on Tuesday 12-4-2018 and the first mile is snow free. Then some ice patches and at the top hard packed snow. No need for snowshoes but micro-spikes handy. Good to do the hike this Wednesday (12-5) to Friday (12-7) when we expect clear conditions. Some light snow on Saturday and moderate snow on Sunday. Right now you can drive to the trail head, however during many winters you can't at this time of the year. It is possible that access to this trail will close next week.

Three Fingers Lookout
Big Four Mountain
View to the south at 4500'
View to the north
Trail Stats: 8 miles round trip and 4000' gain. Here is the track. I was short of the summit, but friends made it to the summit easily.

Driving Directions:
Take the Mountain Loop Highway east out of Granite Falls.

From the Verlot Public Service center, then continue along the Mountain Loop Highway for little more than 16 miles. Parking lot is on the left.

Weather Washington Cascades- Extended Outlook

Starting this weekend (12-8-2018) we will be have weather systems move in from the west. So starting  this weekend and through at least 12-14 we are expecting above normal temperatures and precipitation. Thus we should be adding to the snowpack above 4000/4500 feet.

Average position of 500 mb (18,000') for 12-10 to 12-14. West flow to bring in some mountain snow

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Fagin's Hike of the Week: Umtanum Ridge

In the winter, traction on the trail is tricky. Trail can be icy in lower parts if cold or if above freezing  it can be muddy. Traction footwear is a good idea If it is clear you'll find great views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Stuart from the top. Trail is north of Yakima. Even without these views this is always a great hike.

In winter usually a fog layer at the lower levels
Stuart Range in the distance
View above the fog layer
View of Mt. Stuart taken in the late spring.
Mt. Rainier taken in the late spring.

Driving directions:

From Seattle, drive east on Interstate 90 to exit 110.

After exiting, continue east on Interstate 82 about 3.5 miles to exit 3 (Thrall Road).

At the stop sign, turn right on State Route 821.

Turn left at the next stop sign to continue southeast along State Route 821 into Yakima Canyon (signed "Yakima Canyon")

Continue about 8 miles to the Umtanum Recreation Area (between mileposts 16 and 17).

A large gravel parking lot is on the right side of the road. The parking lot is BLM. You can pay $5.00 for day use or Forest Pass works. There is a fee collection box is at the parking lot.

Trail stats: Cross the Yakima River via the broad foot-traffic-only suspension bridge, then cross under  the railroad tracks.  In less then a 1/4 mile there is a big sign and a "Y" junction in the trail. Take the left fork (slight)  this goes uphill. The right fork goes through the Creek Canyon. On left fork go 2.5 miles and 2100 feet you will be up on the ridge on Yakima Skyline Trail. Here is our track.




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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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Weather Washington Cascades- Extended Outlook

For the period 12-2-2018 to 12-7-2018 forecast models are showing an upper level  ridge of high pressure that builds. So we can expect below normal temperatures and mountain snow. Then after that the forecast picture is somewhat uncertain. Some models suggest continued cool temperatures with increase chances of mountain snow. We will see what transpires.

500 mb (18,000') for 12-5-2018 shows a strong ridge

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Weather Washington Cascades- Extended Outlook

We will have a zonal pattern as weather systems move in from the west and this will be the pattern from today (11-21-2018) through 12-4-2018. This pattern will be tend to bring above normal daytime temperatures and precipitation. We will  get some snowfall (above 4000/ 5000')for the Cascades especially this week but not expecting a big addition of snow as we move into December. We will have a pattern of a trough and ridge moving in and out of the area.

500 mb at 18,000 feet for 12-1-2018
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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fagin's Hike of the Week- Slippery Creek

We hiked this last week and there was not any snow. Now there might be 1 to 2 inches at the very top. At the top  open views and Mt.Rainier view awaits you at the top.
View from the top of the knob Mt. Rainier @ Dennis Long
Almost at top @ Dennis Long
Lunch spot at top @ Dennis Long


Driving Directions: From Enumclaw drive on State Highway 410 east  and just  before you get to the small town of Greenwater turn left on logging road FS 7125. This is just past MP 42. If you reach the town you have gone too far.  Follow logging road FS 7125 then bear left which go about 1.5 miles and park at gate.

Trail Directions: Follow road to point at about 4100 feet which is 1800 foot gain and 4.5 miles one way. See our track below.
Always bring map-compass-GPS as these directions are the best estimates.
Need Hancock Permit- White River area
http:// https://hancockrecreationnw.com/
Trail stats and directions are the best estimates so please bring map and compass and or GPS for precise directions.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Fagin's Hike of the Week: Granite Lakes

This was hiked on 11-17-2018 and there was not any snow. There might be some new snow by 11-23-2018 but I think just 2 or 3" at the lake. This is a new trailhead past the Mailbox trailhead with a BIG parking lot.


At the lake with Mt. Defiance in background
Another photo at the lake
At the lake
View towards Bessemer Mt
Trail stats: Close to 9 miles roundtrip to the lake from the new trailhead. Here is our track.

Driving directions

Take exit 34 from I-90. 

Head north on 468th Ave SE for approximately half a mile until the intersection with the SE Middle Fork Road. 

Turn right onto the Middle Fork Road. 

Follow SE Middle Fork Road 2.2 miles to the stop sign at the junction with SE Dorothy Lake Road. 
Turn left onto SE Middle Fork Road and drive .3 miles to Mailbox trailhead. However continue 2.3 miles to the new trailhead.