(2015 Photos) Record Low Olympic Mountain Snowpack

This has been a below average snow year on the Olympic Peninsula.  Pineapple Express storms, one after another have dropped a record amount of warm rain on the Olympic Mountains; well as most of the pacific northwest and west coast.

The warm weather trend have made people scream 'global warming', but if you look back through the weather data over the last few decades, it's not that uncommon for Washington State to receive low snow fall amounts in the mountains.

Sometimes in need of weekly exercise and mental mountain therapy, I packed my backpack and jumped on a bus to spend the night in the mountains.  Camping just above tree line on National Forest land with my camera, would give me a good vantage point of the Park interior.



Mount Meany
Mount Meany under low snowpack







Mount Meany
Mount Olympus - Kimta basin also featured snow free, on the Skyline Trail route.






Anderson Pass
East Fork Quinault drainage - featuring Anderson Pass






Update: Photography from a Hike at the End of February 2015




Del monte ridge
Del Monte Ridge from Anderson Pass






Anderson Glacier
Winter at Anderson Glacier in February 2015






Update: Southern Olympics from the South in April 17th



grays harbor
Looking at the southern central Olympics






Mount Ellinor
Towards Mount Washington and Ellinor






Update: Southeast Olympics on June 1st



low snowpack
Mount Meany again in June






Muncaster
Muncaster Mountain in June






Anderson Pass
Anderson Pass with no snow






Update: Olympic Mountain Interior on June 5th



Cameron Pass
Cameron Pass, underneath Mount Anderson






Mount Ferry
Mount Ferry and Scott, underneath Mount Olympus






Stephen
Stephen Peak and Basin






Best of my knowledge by viewing the south facing slopes.  The average solid snowpack in spring, is around 7,000' elevation in most of the interior of the Park.  The Low Divide and Anderson Pass trails are accessible without snow travel aid. There is 10" or less that fell late April, around 3,500" in the interior; which has already melted and mostly gone. Some south and east facing slopes are dry up to 6,000'; in some mountain ranges.

Always check current conditions and forecast online before leaving on any trip inside the backcountry.


Note:  Weather in the Pacific Northwest can be very dynamic. Snow is forecasted in late April above 3,500'  Always check current conditions and weather forecast before departing on any backpacking trip.  Winter is not over in the Olympic Mountains! You can always get a general idea by viewing the Hurricane Ridge Webcam.  Photos were taken on February 11th, 22nd, April 17th and June 8th 2015.







Last updated in January 2016 by Barefoot Jake