Pyramid Peak Trail in Snow

  I wanted to test some new hiking gear out in winter.  The snow level was dropping to 1,000' for the next two days.  The winter months is a perfect time to go play in the snow and test out some gear in winter conditions.

 I would hike up the Pyramid Peak trail. My objective would be a small gutted out fire watch cabin overlooking Lake Crescent at 3,000'. I would use public transportation for a total round trip cost of three dollars.

bike camp david
Bikepacking out

  There is a section of the trail that everyone worries about caused by over a 500' of hillside giving away a few years back.  I have been across this over ten times and this time was for sure the most dangerous.  Not many hikers cross this in the winter obviously not many cross this, because there were places that the route had twelve inch footholds on soft eroding ground.

  I wasnt very smart for going across in these conditions.  There were a few times I dropped earth and rocks that I was holding onto all the way to the bottom.  Yikes. About half way across all I could think about is the teenage kid that just fell from here over a month ago and  SAR had to Chopper him out.  Double Yikes.
  The last ten feet were the most sketch with heavy snow hitting me in the face and golf ball sized rocks whizzing by my head.  Yikes. Yikes.  Yikes.

pyramid trail washout
Starting across the Washout

pyramid peak trail landslide
1" Trail in places

  After making it across and looking back.  I shook my head.  Then the Trail started into continuous Snow.  Where a friend joined me that I missed by a few hours.

lake crescent cougar
Cougar Print in Snow

  The Kitty Cat was using the trail for the next few miles as the snow got deeper.  I followed the prints until it dropped off a ridgeline.

pyramid peak trail
Putting these Spyridon LS to work

lake crescent snow
Getting Deeper

  About 45 minutes before dark I arrived at my destination.  The snow was almost in white out affect with the wind starting to pick up as the temperature dropped.

pyramid peak lookout

  Threw out my sleeping bag and made a little bed for the night on the floor.  Shortly after I enjoyed a cold sandwich by candlelight.

candle backpack
A little Romance 

  The next morning I awoke just before sunrise.  Temperature dropped down to 22 degrees that night.  Everything was frozen.  Especially my Spyridon LS.  The uppers wern't designed for those condition's.   That is clear.  Nothing wakes you up better than putting on rock frozen VFF's.
  The views made it all worth while tho.  You could see all the way to Port Angeles as the sun peaked up around Mount Storm King.  The mirrored waters of Lake Crescent almost looked like a dream.

lake crescent sunrise

  After breakfast I quickly packed up and had to make it down to navigate the washout.  I was on a time crunch since I wanted to catch the bus to take me back to Port Angeles.

lake crescent winter
Lake Crescent hides below

  I stepped quickly as I headed down the trail as my feet glided through fresh powder.  Shortly after I picked up another trail friend.  This time he was only ahead of me by a few minutes judging by the freshness of the prints.

lake crescent wildlife
Bobcat Print

  Once I got to the nasty spot I opted that I would just bushwhack the 1,000 feet straight down the lake; using game trails through the woods.  It would turn out to be a good core workout as it got steeper.

lake crescent hike
As I watched rock fall across the route

  Took me some time since there was light snow in the woods and then it starting raining.  That  made steep bushwhacking a little dangerous.  There were spots I used trees like monkey bars.
  After down to the lake.  I made it back to my bike and the bus with thirty minutes; with to spare before it would arrive.

lake crescent hiking
Lake Crescent & Aurora Ridge

I also enjoy this area for family hiking. There is a great hike for kids in the Lake Crescent area. Hope to see you out there.

Updated March 2016 by Barefoot Jake