Olallie Lake via Pratt Lake Trail

Oh wow to this hike! We went with Sausage and Igloo today, which is lovely to share hiking with them.

Firstly we were all a little surprised at how much snow was at the start of this trail, I expected snow but not until a little further up. We started with our chains on our feet to from the very beginning and kept them on the whole way. I kinda wished I had my snowshoes for the end of the hike as it would have made it easier than the pot holing we ended up doing. But I made it to the lake!! ūüėÄ

I need to take my photos off my camera, so will do that tomorrow – currently I’m sat in front of the T.V at 9:30pm with The Vampire Diaries on! I’m watching from the beginning as I missed the last 2 seasons. Any way I digress — I’ll update this post tomorrow. In the meantime have some photos from my phone of Olallie Lake ‚̧

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Gold Creek Pond 03/20/17

I went on this hike with one lady – usual hiking buddy – and we hoped to meet the other one on the trail….which we did! Lovely to see her briefly too.¬† Driving along the i90 towards Snoqualmie Pass we were able to see how much snow was still around. I knew that people were still skiing and snowboarding up here, but it wasn’t until I saw the snow mounds on either side of the road that I realised just how much they had been clearing the roads over winter. It was really high and we could not see over the top, not even to see the gas station!

i90 corridor

I thought I had snowshoed around here last year, but couldn’t remember for sure until we arrived. There were not many people when we parked up on the road side, using a Sno-park pass. I did not drive this morning because I don’t have one of those pass. I have the other two popular ones though!

I was not as cold as the last time we went out for a snow covered hike, but it was still chilly and so much snow! More than I expected, but after a weekend of lovely weather, the amount of foot traffic had really packed the snow down so the snowshoes stayed on my pack.

We wandered around the lake originally, and then veered to the left off onto another trail through the trees and up onto what would be a driveway for the little huts which are out there, and then onwards to Gold Creek Trail.

The little huts and homes in-between the trees are beautiful, some are more modern and some look like they need a little t.l.c on the outside.

We had agreed that we would do around¬†5 miles this morning, which¬†worked out brilliantly as we turned around and ate¬†when we reached a clearing which had recently had an avalanche down it. We decided we had walked far enough and also neither of us particularly wanted to cross this area. We had no doubt that it was safe at that time, but the sun was out and it was quite warm. I had gone down to wearing only my fleece as had become quite warm. We didn’t know how soft the snow would become a couple of hours later, and we still had 3 miles to the end of trail, plus 3 miles back. This trail will be there another day.

On our way back we stopped at the restrooms…I am incredibly happy to have discovered these! Clean, indoors, and warm ūüôā There is also a little cafe, where I tried a raspberry white mocha! Nom nom nom….oh and a snickerdoodle cookie!

I think I want to camp here next winter. It is a safe trail, people use it, plus it is close enough that if I needed to I could get in the car and drive home to a warm bed ūüôā

Nordic Skiing 01/09/2017

Nordic skiing or Cross Country Skiing is something I’ve been interested in trying, but assumed you needed to be able to ski well! I can snowboard, as can Hubster, and have some skiing experience but not in the last 5 years. It turns out however that you do not need to be able to ski ūüėÄ *happy dance*

Myself, Hubster, Igloo and Sausage headed over to Steven’s Pass on Monday for a Nordic Skiing lesson at 11am, followed by – we hoped – an exploration of the skiing trails.

Due to leave at 8:30 from our friends, we were of course late! We always are¬†late. I know people can hate those of us who are late, but we try not to be, I promise we try! We arrived at the Nordic Skiing place at around 10:30am, with enough time to part, rent our equipment and get kitted out. Nordic Skis are worked out via your weight, I¬†don’t know how much I weigh, but seeing¬†that Igloo and Sausages’¬†skis were 10cm longer than mine and I am sure I weigh more, I¬†must have made a mistake. It was okay though, I could manoeuvre comfortably¬†on them.

Our lesson instructor was Arianha, she was great! A really amazing instructor. In our group were 3 children and 6 adults, and she was able to explain what to do in such as way as the children understood but she did not come across as patronising to us adults.

Nordic Ski Boots are SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE than normal ski boots, plus the whole equipment was lighter, so much lighter *happy dance*

During the lesson we learnt how to hop along¬†so we could slide on the skis and travel safely and somewhat speedily along the groomed tracks, we¬†learnt how to snow plough down any little hills we might come across¬†in both the tracks and also when there are none. The lesson was only 1 hour long, but that was long enough. We were in the shade and my goodness…..so cold! 6F so -15C¬†approximately….I LOVE¬†MY HAND AND TOE WARMERS!¬†Then we were able to head out along the groomed trails on our own.

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I have a new winter sport! Our lesson, plus equipment rental, plus full day trail pass cost $50. If we decide to buy our own equipment then we could get a beginners set (boots, skis and poles) for $300!

After a warming lunch we headed to the main groomed trails, we followed the green line which is the easiest and called Main Trail for about 2.5km before heading back. Igloo and Sausage stayed on the Main Trail, whilst Hubster and I did a little detour onto Side Track, a blue trail, so the next level up. This was soo much fun! Lots of little hills, so some downwards trails and snowplough only downhills, we picked up some speed which I loved. We came out back on the Main Trail just in front of Igloo and Sausage so we all headed down together-ish (Hubster and I had a little race to see who finished first!).

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These are some photos from Igloo who gave me permission to use some of these ūüôā

Once back we gave back the rental bits and bobs and headed¬†over the Leavenworth, a little Bavarian Town just through the mountain pass. Where we ate a Bratwurst ūüėÄ Leavenworth is a lovely town, I¬†enjoy visiting there and it is¬†a guaranteed place we take our visitors. Winter is beautiful, as is Spring and¬†Autumn. I haven’t been in Summer yet, but maybe this year!

A huge shout out to Igloo for driving us today.

(I’m running out of space on my wordpress media so discovered a new app on my iPhone which I quite like for creating collages and little videos…)

Rattlesnake Ledge 15/01/2017

Brrr…not as cold as Franklin Falls, but it was still quite chilly! We went up with a friend of mine who doesn’t get to hike with others very often. The recent trip reports on WTA mentioned that microspikes would be needed and I am so pleased we took ours. At times it was very very icy and we saw too many people going up in bog standard trainers. Yes I am judging. It winds me up! Rattlensnake Ledge is one of the easier hikes, and therefore very popular at weekends, however people need to take responsibility for themselves.

Unfortunately I should probably put ourselves in this category too. My friend lost one of her microspikes on the way up, so Hubster kindly gave her his to wear as he was in hiking boots and had poles, we thought this would be enough. In hindsight, we should have just turned back.

It was a lovely hike to the top, Rattlesnake is definitely a easier hike than I’ve been doing so it was really nice for me to take it easy. The sky was clear blue for the entire morning. I only had my iPhone to take photos on today, so I have very few. The path was easy to manage, there was a mixture of snow coverage, dirt, and ice. Spring is on the way for sure. ūüôā¬† Enjoy the few photos I took!

At the top, Hubster went for his water and discovered that it had leaked in his bag and over his camera — sadness number 1.

On our way back down, Hubster slipped on the ice and fell off the side of the path ripping his jacket and bruising himself but thankfully nothing more than bruises. He slipped and fell a few more times on our way back down to the car¬†— sadness number 2.¬† We spoke to a lot of people going up in trainers, wooly boots and other stupid footwear combinations, told them it only got more icy on the way up and that they really need microspikes. Everyone ignored us. I hope no one else fell of the trail into bush and injured themselves.

On our way back on the freeway, a stone pinged onto the windscreen and cracked it — sadness number 3.

Franklin Falls 03/01/2017

First hike of the year and it was a cold one! 23F!

Franklin Falls is one which had been on my radar since last year, I saw the beautiful frozen falls online and wanted to go but just did not manage it. This year I did!! A quickly organised hike which means one we decided on 2 nights before hand. It was myself and one of my usual hiking ladies, the other one was struck down by the dreaded headache monster *boo*

The journey in the car was an easy one, down the 405 onto the I90 all the way towards Snoqualmie Pass. It is a journey I’ve done and been on multiple times, but have never stopped off to do this hike, or any of the others nearby. There is a camping site there, so maybe in the summer…..

The drive to the trail head was okay, we did not go all the way along just incase we could not get there, turn around, or get back out! So we parked up near to where 4 other cars were and got ready to walk!

It was SO cold, so cold! Very cold! I struggled to get my boots done up, and put on my gaiters and microspikes. Then I struggled to warm my fingers up enough to get my gloves on with my hand warmers in. SUCCESS!

Off we went, up the road and towards the trail head. Once we hit the trail it was a easy and quiet route, the trail had been packed down tightly so we did not need our snowshoes (we had already made the decision to leave those in the car) but microscopes were definitely needed. It was a beautiful trail, snow white snow, trees, quietness and friendly company.

I used the Hubster’s camera and I did not realise that I needed to change the settings so my photos are all tinted blue unfortunately, but they never show the real life beauty and beauty this trail is.

The Falls were almost completely frozen, there was a beautiful waterfall where the water flowed over the top and down. The icicles where huge and an amazing colour of greens, blues and whites.

The walk back down went very quickly, and I was very thankful that I was wearing my microspikes. I had recently brought Kahtoola Microspikes and they were the best $70 I’ve spent in a long time! No slipping on the packed snow or the ice, and felt very secure walking the whole way.

Gold Creek Pond 03/22/16

I finally had the opportunity to use my snow shoes which we brought from Costco before Christmas. This was not the original plan, but because I managed to hurt my thigh yesterday by slipping on the Ira Springs Trail I asked to go somewhere nearer. I was the driver too, and couldn’t face driving almost 3 hours with a sore leg!

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I love this view. This was a great beginners snowshoe, which was great for me and Sausage (who also came too, might remember her from an earlier post…another Brit living her with her Husband – Igloo – and we spend a lot of time with them).

You simply walk around the pond!

There were a couple of bridges to walk over, a small section of the pond was unfrozen and the water was completely clear. We could see the bottom without being too near. Some Geese were having a little swim on this tiny area of unfrozen ice!

Enjoy the views ūüėÄ

Ravenna Refresher 11/21/15

So I’ve did the 5k and quite enjoyed being in a crowd. So I am aiming high! In January there is a 10 mile trail run in the park across of the road from us. I need instant gratification for things I do — give me praise when I do well, and that includes running….please! So we worked out some runs to do between now and January which would slowly increase my distances and also make me feel proud of accomplishing something, whilst also increasing my fitness, helping me lose a little bit around my hips so next years wedding dress will give me space to eat loads and loads of food :-p

This is a run based across the Lake!! We had to take the long route – rawte…haha…no I¬†do not talk like that yet! So were up very early, so we could find parking, find the park and pick up our race numbers. This is with Northwest Trail Runs who seem to do a lot of runs throughout the year. Many people appear to do them, so we thought we would give it a go.

Today was the Ravenna Refresher which was held in Ravenna Park. Really nice park, if we lived more locally I would definitely go wandering in there. Well maintained paths. There were options of 4km, 8km, or 12km. All using the same trail. Either once, twice or three times around, with a water station provided. I opted for the 8km as I seem able to regularly run 5km now without stopping.

Hills! Hills Hills!!! Need to get used to those. They wiped me out. Hubster was very very hung over this morning so I had hoped that I would have beaten him. ūüė¶ No I didn’t. Maybe one day. That is a long term goal.

It was so cold this morning. 33F which is around 0.5C. Chilly.

Thrilled to have finished this with a smile as it was hard work.

The end and I am still smiling!
The end and I am still smiling! Plus spotted Hubster waiting for me ūüôā

I was exhausted, my legs hurt, and I could not regulate my temperature. I was cold, hot, cold, hot, throughout. It was uncomfortable. Sleeves were pulled up and down, neck warmer worn around neck, on head, on wrist and I wanted to throw my bottle away but I needed to drink water because that is what I need to do at the moment! I wasn’t even hung over, I didn’t go out! This is a learning curve.

I completed this with a time of 59:54….I was under an hour!

I had a lovely email conversation with the gentleman who took photos today. He provides downloads for free and only asks to be credited. Thank you to Michael Lake Photography.

In my Lucy Active Wear again – need to go shopping for more trousers! Salamon trail shoes too.