After a very snowy (and slow) drive across Steven Pass from Seattle, I was still the first one driving out to Eagle Creek.
To make matters better, the groomer had come last night!
The first couple ‘bilers finally passed me at 9:30 am, and immediately stopped to get a picture of my contraption. Several more people passed on the way to Sugarloaf Pk., but all came back rather quickly. Hmm.
Just before riding out of the tree-cover towards Sugarloaf Pk., I took an extended snack break under my emergency blanket, and layered up with some warmer clothing. The trail ahead, going around the bottom of Sugarloaf, looked very windy with only 100 m visibility. Finally, I started pushing for a while, but gave up when I was sinking a couple feet deep in snow drifts. Even the lone snowmobiler, who was the only one who had gone farther than me after passing a few minutes before, came back; riding the drifts skillfully one-legged.
What to do, it’s not even noon, yet.
A family of snowmobilers at French Corral suggested Ardenvoir for burgers. Only 25 minutes! On a snowmobile, that is.
I decided to head a bit east towards Chumstick Mtn. and see what it’s like along that route. From my summer rides, I knew that there should be some views, but I had no idea that riding slowly in winter would make the views that much more impressive.
After 30 minutes, I came to this hut, which would be a sweet spot to lounge for a while.
The wind was blowing sideways across the ridge, stirring up snowflakes.
Quite some weather: sunny, dark, stormy, quiet, 20 F then all of a sudden 30 F… all in 5 minutes. Repeat.
The Cascades and Enchantments are getting an even bigger storm show.
While back in the Entiat, things look much calmer at Stormy Mountain.
A couple vultures expertly circling the gusty winds blowing up the ridge.
One last look back before heading down.
And then a look back up at that same feature – with Moon.