Last Saturday I completed my first hike of 2017 and the first hike in my 250 mile challenge.

Snow Capped Mountain

Lake 22 is a hike I’ve done before, both in spring and summer. Completing this hike in the winter was a different beast, as the pleasant summer streams that trickle across the trail turned into thick icy sheets requiring microspikes to cross. Do not attempt this trail without spikes! We saw several people in flat shoes (not even in hiking boots) trying to cross the ice barriers. One woman took quite a spill and had to turn around.

Beautiful seasonal contrast

Though I haven’t been hiking as much as I was this past summer, I actually felt alright fitness wise. I’d like to get back to the speed I was in June and July, when we were hiking every weekend. The incline is moderate, building to a few steeper switchbacks above the tree line.

Snowy Bridge

Hiking in the winter is so different than hiking during our brilliant PNW summers. The typically green forests are muted by the snow, the skies are a watery blue, everything feels like a bit of color has been sucked out of it. Hikes that you’ve done before feel like you’re traveling them again for the first time.

Icy Fungi! 

The views were spectacular as always. We didn’t go all the way around the lake, the wind was bitter and whipped right down our coats, and I’ve heard that there can be an avalanche risk there as well (which is absolutely terrifying).

5.4 miles down, 244.6 to go! Have you guys set any challenges for the year?