Elkhorn (Elwha Trail) in Winter

  While wintering on a little farm near the Elwha River.  I sometimes stare out the window; while sipping coffee next to the cozy fireplace.  Confronting one of my biggest fears.  Am I becoming domesticated?

  To make sure that doesn't happen.  I like throwing myself into the wilderness in rapid changing weather condition's.  Find it's a good test for backpacking skills.  If you can survive in the Olympic National Park winter; while soaking wet.  One shouldn't have a problem in the summer; when weather is not as harsh.

  The weather forecast called for three back to back systems.  That could drop a couple feet of white stuff low as 1,000' elevation.

  Having a gap of 48 hours in my schedule.  Wanted at least one night to sleep in the wild.  I grabbed a few snacks, layers and put together the rest of my backpack.  This would also be a perfect opportunity to test my new ultralight shelter in heavy rain and wet snow conditions.

  The trip in was spent under my poncho in heavy rains.  Trail was completely saturated with water; sometimes up to my ankle in spots.  I was happy to have breathable footwear on.

  While pitching my shelter for the night.  I kept looking up and could see the snowline start to drop before my eyes.  Snow clearly visible with the naked eye; with each passing moment, lowered to the valley floor.

  Wet flakes began to fall shortly after sunset and continued half-way through the night.  Around 1am I briefly awoke to the sound of ran drops hitting the shelter.  It continued to rain until after sunrise.  Then turned back to snow while enjoying my morning coffee.

locus gear khufu wet snow
Next morning at Elkhorn - in my Locus Gear Khufu Sil

My Short Video Clip:

Poncho in snow
Staying in the poncho on the trip out as well; because of all the snow bombs

michael's cabin
Old homestead named Michael's Cabin near the trailhead. 

Memorable Moment of the Hike

  Seeing 2 young Bald Eagles fight over a kill in flight though the trees above me.  I took that as positive sign for the future of the valley.

A beautiful coffee table book on The Undammed Elwha River.

Updated in March 2016 by Barefoot Jake