22 December 2012

Lake Twenty-Two: Difficulty Level = Snow

We set out at 8:30AM towards Lake Twenty-Two, sammiches, water, and chips packed. The snow this winter has been particularly heavy so we all bundled up as best as we could to prepare for this hike but I don't think any of us were fully prepared for the 3ft+ of snow at the peak! haha. You can see Kiet and his garbage bag swag in the background, already setting out for the journey.

 Stopped by the ranger station first, played with the snow a bit.

 Arrived at the entrance to the trail, when our cars get stuck! D:
 The guys trying to get Nathan's car out of the snow...
I went around taking photos haha.

Eventually we got Nathan's car out and park on the side of the road... like we probably should have... we had to direct some folks out because they were about to get stuck as well, so hopefully they found parking elsewhere!

This hike was probably the longest, steepest, and coldest hike I've ever been on -- so thank goodness for my inhaler. Unfortunately the biting cold air still made it difficult for me to breathe, but we trudged along just fine. My friends commented on how quiet I was, but tbh I was conserving energy and saving my breath, all the while swallowing the pain hahaha.....

Winter, hands down, is my favorite season. Winter in Washington, hands down, is probably my favorite experience.

 We reached the half-way mark, I would say, as we climbed the side of the mountain in an open area. Rested for about 10 minutes before continuing. Past the trees you can see a small valley.

Hikers before us have made a pathway that shows just how much snow has collected. There's a hole right there where one of us fell through, which was about 3ft deep.... 

On our way up several of us fell into pockets of air just slightly outside of the packed snowpath, so we had to make frequent stops to pull each other out. I fell... many times... into these very pockets.

Closer to the lake we reached this beautiful forested area that I swear came right out of Balto. Or something. The trees were huge and there were so many meadowed areas with ponds and streams. If we weren't on a very defined trail, and if it wasn't so dangerous, I would've loved to explore the forested area itself.

Finally made it to the lake! Rest stop for 30 minutes.

The surrounding trees were sooo tall!

After we ate our lunch, it was time to head back down. Which was hard. It always is, but it was way harder this time around because the hike UP was its own struggle.

A few of us tried to take shortcuts but it didn't work out. 

By the time we got to the cars, we were all exhausted, soaked, frozen to the bone, and veeeery hungry hahaha.

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