PNW Spring. The New Winter.

Terry, Backcountry Ambassador

The forecast for this weekend was snow at levels that dropped to 1500′ here in the North Cascades. Normally that would not be a surprise, but we are a month into Spring following a Winter that produced alarmingly low snow accumulations. Regardless, this was music to my ears.


This morning I woke and found myself wanting solitude on the trail I would be snowshoeing. My hunch was to head up Deer Creek Road off of Mountain Loop Highway outside of Granite Falls and drive until the snow became a burden on my vehicle, and questionable to go further. I did so, and ended up about 2.5 miles from the trailhead to Kelcema Lake, my destination.


Trail conditions varied from powder to slush and even a few bare spots as I traveled the road, all the while the sounds of winter surrounded me. My snowshoes in fresh snow and the occasional snowfall from trees along with the numerous waterfalls I encountered were music to my ears. Not a soul was to be seen or heard.


At the trailhead I encountered a trail that hadn’t seen any activity and was completely untraveled since the new snowfall. I slowly worked my way down to the lake with my Tubbs Snowshoes securing my footing the whole distance. These spring conditions were not optimal, but the shoes performed flawlessly.


Eager to stay in my Tubbs Snowshoes as long as possible, I explored the area around the lake for about 45 minutes, took photos and sat at the waters edge. It was a fantastic day to be out and I am grateful for the journey. With any luck, we will get some more of this winter weather in spring.