Gold Creek Pond Snowshoeing

Today, Kim and I went snowshoeing with our friends Michelle and Laura at the Gold Creek Sno Park on Snoqualmie Pass. The temperature was in the low to mid 30s, and there was a ton of snow overnight followed by a light rain.  The conditions for an avalanche were high, and avalanche warnings were posted. Originally, we planned  to follow a guide book route up the Gold Creek Valley.  Instead, we decided to do a loop around the Gold Creek Pond keeping us far from any avalanche hazards.

We arrived at the park before anyone else and geared up!

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Since we were the first people there, we got to cut a new trail through all of the fresh snow.  It was thick and heavy.  So heavy that Laura’s snowshoes straps broke just as we were getting started!  Michelle was kind enough to lend Laura her snowshoes, and hiked along in just her boots.  To make things a bit easier, she followed along at the end of the line.

Some busted snowshoes…DSC00604

In the summer, you can drive almost all the way into the pond, and there is a picnic area with a nice trail that loops around.  In the winter, you have to snowshoe/ski in about 3/4 of a mile to get to the summer parking area.  We followed the road into the parking area, and then (mostly) followed the trail using my GPS (the topo map had the trail marked).

This is the outlet creek from the pond.

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The pond itself was mostly frozen over and covered with snow.  We did not think it would be a good idea to go out on the ice.

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This is a typical section of the trail that we hadn’t cut yet.  There was probably 12”-16” of new snow that was heavy, heavy, heavy!

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A small creek comes in at the north end of the pond keeping the ice clear.DSC00615

They had a couple of cool bridges on the north end, but I didn’t take any pictures.  The snow was piled higher than the handrails that the summer hikers use.

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At the end of the trip, we broke out the jetboils to make some warm food and hot chocolate!DSC00617

The trip was just about 3 miles in length and took us about 2 hours to complete.  All of the details from my gps can be found here.

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