The early biker gets perfect snow. Sometimes.
Even if 7 am does not count as particularly early, it was still sufficient for enjoying perfectly groomed, crusty snow for a couple hours.
Sunshine after 3 months of dreary weather.
This is luxury snowbiking. Even detailed maps are placed at key intersections.
After my last exploration of this area in soft snow and windy/white-out conditions, I was more than thrilled by the blue skies, evergreens covered in white puffs, and by the views of jagged mountains near and far. Wherever the snowmobiles have gone off-track, there are usually good views. This one did not disappoint.
I knew I had left my sunglasses at the car, but figured I could squint a little and survive. I did both.
Not long afterwards, a ‘hurry up and wait’ kind-of group of snowmobilers passed multiple times. I understand: tough to ride past views of Keechelus Lake with the Cascades.
After catching up with the snowmobilers -again-, I decided to race them on the downhill. Even at 20 F, the sun made it feel decent in my skimpy windshirt as I flew downhill 3 miles at an average of 18 mph. I never saw them again.
The Lost Lake loop had interested me since the map says “intermittently groomed”. It was perfectly groomed, except for a short section on the north end.
The next climb was a good warm-up from getting chilled on the downhill.
Almost 10 am and the snow’s still crusty.
Elevation was gained, and where snowmobile tracks zigged and zagged up the side, even better views were had.
A short break at the top, before more stopping for pictures made the downhill almost as slow as the uphill.
Geeking out with a cell phone camera.
Lost Lake below.
Then, I approached what looked like a minor avalanche, but there was an even bigger bunch of ice blocks behind it. I am pretty sure that must be the reason why I hadn’t met any snowmobilers in the last hour, as the lower bunch of ice looked impassable to a snowmobile.
No sooner had I walked across the area, when a snowmobiler came from behind, stopped, and with a ‘beep beep beep’ backed-up and drove back up.
The Lost Lake shoreline glistened in green – though the picture didn’t come out right. Still pretty.